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The Aristocrats 

Paul Provenza

The Aristocrats
Directed by: Paul Provenza
A man and a woman walk into their living room to watch The Aristocrats. Soon the man is laughing along as dozens of comedians give their take on “The Aristocrats,” the comedy world’s filthy in-joke. He casts a nervous glance at the woman, who has been largely silent through convoluted descriptions of shit eating, puke drinking, flying jizz, sexual abuse and violence against grandmothers. “Is this just a guy thing?” the guy wonders. Also: “Will I ever be sent to the video store again?” Then a pregnant comic does her version of the standard tale, involving her unborn child in (nearly) unspeakable acts. The woman laughs heartily. She enjoys the rest of the documentary, and happily goes to the special features for more from another female comic, the brilliant Sarah Silverman, who turns the joke on its head and into an incest survivor’s personal awakening. Men and women aren’t the only types of comics in The Aristocrats. There are jugglers, a magician, a ventriloquist and Robin Williams, each bringing a unique approach to the joke. The improbable end result is to teach a life lesson that the universal is personal. Also: Mimes can be disgusting motherfuckers, too.
—Kyle Shaw

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Vol 26, No 25
November 15, 2018

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