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August 13, 2005

The Aristocrats

I saw The Aristocrats this week, and I enjoyed it, but I feel it's important to point out that no one seemed to notice a subtlety of the original joke. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie, it's about a joke that comedians tell each other that goes like this:

Guy goes into a talent agents office: "Have I got an act for you!"
<Comedian improvises the most disgusting offensive act they can think of>
Agent says, "What's the act called?"
"The Aristocrats!"

But near the beginning of the movie, we hear from the guy who supposedly came up with the joke, an old Vaudevillian and in his version, the agent doesn't say "What's the act called," he says, "What kind of an act do you call that?" The difference being that in the original joke, part of the humor comes from the fact that the agent never asks the name of the act, but finds it out anyway.

Not that that's really a big thing, mind you, but if you're going to make an entire movie about one joke, you might as well at least mention it.

Posted by Will at August 13, 2005 11:19 PM


You live in NYC, right? You should see the Franken show.

Posted by: Sumana at August 19, 2005 6:55 PM

That Franken guy isn't in The Aristocrats is he? He's a friend of yours, I take it?

Posted by: Will at August 20, 2005 11:17 PM

I became an acquaintance/friend of Will Franken's after seeing his jaw-droppingly good comedy. He's not in The Aristocrats.

Posted by: Sumana at August 22, 2005 3:24 PM

I'll take it. While we're on the subject, has anyone noticed the similarity between The Aristocrats and that cartoon, Yankee Doodle Daffy, where Daffy tries to convince Porky, a talent agent, that his new client is the greatest act ever?

Posted by: Will at August 22, 2005 3:34 PM

Truly barnyard humor.

Posted by: Sumana at August 22, 2005 6:56 PM