The Aristocrats

(USA, 2005, 87 minutes)

An investigation into the story and the appeal of “The Aristocrats”, an off-colour “classic” joke that is usually performed more within comedian circles than in front of paying audiences, through interviews with and retellings of the joke by American and English stand-up comedians. The joke itself is only as funny as its performance, so this intriguing, dynamic documentary uses it as a window into the world of stand-up comedy, though along the way it devolves simply into a collection of variations; also, its interest is restricted to Anglo-American comedy buffs, since most of the comedians interviewed or contributing retellings will be unknown outside the US.

Thinkfilm presents a Mighty Cheese production. Directed by Paul Provenza; produced by Peter Adam Golden; music by Gary Stockdale; film editors, Emery Emery and Paul Provenza.


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