Penn Jillette's joke.

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John LeBlanc
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Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby John LeBlanc » June 23rd, 2005, 11:50 am

I just posted a note on my blog about a new motion picture for which Penn Jillette is executive producer, and on which the New York Times today ran an article .

The plot to The Aristocrats is described as, "One hundred superstar comedians tell the same very, VERY dirty, filthy joke--one shared privately by comics since Vaudeville."

The list of comics is long and distinguished. (Insert Top Gun joke here.)

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Marks » June 23rd, 2005, 1:05 pm

I can't wait.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Oliver Corpuz » June 23rd, 2005, 1:34 pm

from my blog...

In 2003, Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller fame) and Paul Provenza directed a documentary called The Aristocrats, where they had 100 different actors and comedians tell their version of the joke. Believe it or not, the version by Bob Saget (of Full House and Americas Funniest Home Videos fame) was probably one of the filthiest versions filmed. The movie screened very well at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, The 88 minute film was picked up by the distributor, ThinkFilmCompany.com, and will be released in theaters nationwide on August 12. Although there is no nudity or violence in it at all, Im sure the naughty language will garner the film an NC-17 rating. Go see it. I guarantee you will find it offensive.


UPDATE: The Aristocrats was screened to a sold out audience on June 13 at the CineVegas Film Festival at the Brendan Theaters in the Palms Casino. I ran into Mike Close and his wife at the Brendan Theaters at the Palms Casino where Cinevegas was held. I tried to get a seat but was shut out. All sold out and long wait list. Oh well, I just have to wait until August for the general release.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Dave Egleston » June 23rd, 2005, 1:45 pm

Originally posted by Oliver Corpuz:
from my blog...

Believe it or not, the version by Bob Saget (of Full House and Americas Funniest Home Videos fame) was probably one of the filthiest versions filmed.
I noticed you said "filthiest" not funniest or even funny.

Saget is the second luckiest man in show business - right after Ryan Seacrest.

Dave

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Pete McCabe » June 23rd, 2005, 2:10 pm

Saget's version of the joke is hilarious. So is Eric Mead's.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Morton » June 23rd, 2005, 2:18 pm

Depends on if you find filth funny. I do. :)

Saget's version is the filthiest, but not necessarily the funniest in the movie. The picture was screened this past Saturday night as part of the AFI "SilverDocs" film festival in Silver Spring, MD. In attendance were the director, Paul Provenza, and several of the comics in the movie: Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried and Fred Willard.

Provenza gave a short intro before the movie and took Q&A afterward. One of the things he noted in the Q&A is that one of the biggest "secrets" in Hollywood is that Bob Saget's "squeaky-clean, All-American" image is a front: he really is one of the dirtiest comics out there today. In the movie he plays off this brilliantly, as he keeps acting as if telling his version is completely out of character for him, all the while it gets dirtier and dirtier. ;)

Provenza told a story about "the real Bob Saget" which discretion prevents me from repeating here. ;)

Another thing he noted was that George Carlin (who tells the first version, and IMHO, one of the top three funniest versions in the movie) of the joke, was the most enthusiastic about the project, and he went along with it "because it's too good an idea to let you two screw it up," as he told Provenza and Jillette. Carlin is returned to repeatedly in the movie as they get into the deconstruction of the form and the ideas behind it.

Side notes: the largest amount of applause by our audience for a performer's version in the movie was given to Eric Mead's card trick version.

Jay Marshall is brought in to talk about the earliest reference to the joke in print.

While the tagline for the movie's advertising is "No Nudity. No Violence. Unspeakable Obscenity" -- there's one bit of "semi-nudity" that was blurred out in editing. It features one of the more legendary names in magic. And that's all I'm sayin' about that. :D

This movie is not everyone's cup of tea, let's get that out right now. Dave Egelston (and Pete Biro, for that matter) -- I can say right now that this movie probably isn't for you. Provenza and Jillette have deliberately made a very provocative movie, in that this is nothing but a bunch of people talking (with the exception of Billy The Mime and Teller). They want you to know ahead of time -- if you think you'll be offended by this movie, you probably will be. They're not trying to sneak one by you; they're being very upfront about it. Like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin and Richard Pryor pushed the boundaries of comedy and the First Amendment, they're doing the same here. They're even releasing the movie unrated, because they think submitting it to the MPAA kind of defeats the purpose.

It's a funny, filthy, provoking, fascinating and enlightening little bit of show business and the concept of "comedy" that rarely gets talked about or seen. And in that regards, I think it's done a service. What else you take away from it is up to you.

brian :cool:

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Dave Egleston » June 23rd, 2005, 3:12 pm

Mr Morton:

You misread my post - It's not the filth that would bother me - It would be surprising if Bob Saget actually made some one laugh.

Dave

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Guest » June 23rd, 2005, 3:56 pm

I was at a special screening of the "Arisocrats" yesterday afternoon. It is wonderful! I loved it.
That being said, it is not for everyone.

I worked with Bob Saget, he is a great comic and a great guy.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby John LeBlanc » June 23rd, 2005, 4:18 pm

Originally posted by Jon Stetson:
I was at a special screening of the "Arisocrats" yesterday afternoon. It is wonderful! I loved it.
That being said, it is not for everyone.
Well, I can't wait to see it. I won't bring my granddaughter, naturally.


Originally posted by Jon Stetson:
I worked with Bob Saget, he is a great comic and a great guy.
George Strait once remarked that he only records and releases albums because it allows him to continue running his ranch.

People can say what they will about those two shows with which Saget is most associated, he is a talented comedian

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Glenn Farrington » June 23rd, 2005, 8:08 pm

Okay...just my opinion.

But, it was by far the absolutely funniest movie I have ever seen and I doubt If I will ever see one funnier in my life time.

I laughed so hard it hurt, and just when I thought I couldnt laugh any harder...a mime did the joke. Oh my god it was hysterical.

It was the hottest ticket at Sundance, people were literally looking for scalpers and willing to pay anything to see it.

If you get a chance to see this, dont walk...run.
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 23rd, 2005, 8:28 pm

I'm slightly confused here: I've seen the movie referred to as having been directed by Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, but the official credits list only Provenza, so what's the story behind that?
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Brian Morton
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Morton » June 23rd, 2005, 8:46 pm

Paul did the real directing, Penn forked over the dough -- which, in reality, makes Penn the exec producer, and Paul the director, but I think they might have done it just for the sake of the credits and the collaborative effort..

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Marks » June 23rd, 2005, 9:55 pm

Yes Penn produced it.

I can't wait to see it.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Morton » June 23rd, 2005, 10:57 pm

Steven Banks is the mime...

STEVEN BANKS is Billy The Mime?? WOW!

His "Steven Banks Home Improvement Center" was one of the funniest cable specials I saw in YEARS!

Well, that explains a lot! How cool!

brian :cool:

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Guest » June 24th, 2005, 5:03 am

Egleston: My expectations for Saget were very low. In this film he's fantastic.

I saw the movie at Sundance. The last screening was sold out and they had about 150 people waiting in line outside hoping to get a spot.
I got to see it because Provenza snuck me in. Did you guys know he used to 'hang' with Slidini?

Here's my post after seeing the film:
http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 855#000000

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Marks » June 24th, 2005, 8:44 am

Bob Saget is nothing like he was on televiosn. Don't judge him by 2 ultra sqeecky clean shows. He's the opposite. I assure you the Olsen twins are nothing like Full House either.

Judy Gold is a fantastic comedian. Everyone she worked with a developing comic is a star except for her. She's a little bitter about it too.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 24th, 2005, 9:32 am

Is this a new form of performance art, that of making the audience paint pictures in their minds and then putting a contrasting frame around it with the tag line?
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Pete Biro » June 24th, 2005, 11:15 am

Waht make you think I won't like it? I just don't like Penn.
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Morton » June 24th, 2005, 12:29 pm

I just don't like Penn.
Well, that would be a start. :D

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Doc Eason » June 25th, 2005, 1:47 pm

it also won first prize for documentary at the Aspen Comedy Festival.

Pete... it is absolutely filthy dealing with themes that most people wouldn't touch ... and it is *outrageously* funny.

i too laughed more than i have in a long time... it is a much better movie than i thought it was going to be...

and my buddy Eric Mead got the only spontaneous round of applause in our theater...as he does consistantly at every showing. Amazing.
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Tabman » June 25th, 2005, 6:40 pm

I can't wait to see it. I wonder if it will play in the Bible Belt?

-=tabman

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Marks » June 25th, 2005, 11:04 pm

I am sure their will be a dvd at some point. If it doesn't play in the TN, I am sure you'll get the dvd.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Pete McCabe » June 27th, 2005, 3:23 pm

Just to correct myself, Lisa Lampanelli is the comic who does The Aristocrats live in a club and kills with it. (Not Judy Gold, as I said earlier.)

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Marks » June 28th, 2005, 9:27 am

Lisa is the insult comic. Of course she could kill with it!

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magicam
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby magicam » July 3rd, 2005, 12:49 am

After reading this thread, I quickly went to the link provided by Nicholas Carifo (thanks Nicholas) with a big-ass grin on my face. Just my opinion of course: yes, it was funny, but it wasnt that funny. And Im not a prude. So now Im really curious. I mean, you guys cant all be wrong. So is it that the Southpark version is one of the flatter ones? That you have to see it with a crowd? That it creeps up on your funny bone after hearing it a few times? Guess it could be my sense of humor, but after all this cool buildup, Id be disappointed if that were the case.
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Marks » July 3rd, 2005, 9:49 am

you have to see the movie. not just the South Park cartoon version of the joke.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby magicam » July 3rd, 2005, 2:30 pm

I forgot to add that, after hearing the gist of the joke, I could see how the mime version would be very funny indeed. Clay

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Guest » July 10th, 2005, 6:30 pm

I have not seen the movie yet, but I have heard nothing but GREAT things about it... I can't wait to read the responses of the offended people who were warned about the language. Also recommended, Penn and Teller's "B.S." Now on DVD...

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Joe M. Turner » July 11th, 2005, 6:15 am

I took a deep breath and watched the Southpark version on the link. I agree that there is a certain humor to be achieved by seeing just how disgusting and offensive you can be within a given time limit.

I'm sure the movie is hilarious, and while I'd love to see Eric Mead's version, I'll probably pass on this film. Interesting idea for a movie, and I'm sure Penn will be rewarded for his efforts by many here and elsewhere.

JMT

P.S. I would agree that if someone is offended enough by this movie to come out and complain about it, they should be roundly criticized -- not for being offended (an easily understandable reaction), but for ignoring the multiple warnings. It's not as if they innocently flipped through a channel to find this on television...

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Ryan Matney » July 11th, 2005, 6:48 am

I would want to see this even if it didn't have a magic connection but I can't wait to hear Johnny Thompson tell this joke.
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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Terry » July 27th, 2005, 4:42 am

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163771,00.html

The Dirtiest Joke Ever Makes It to the Screen

Gilbert Gottfried and Phyllis Diller may not have the headline appeal of Tom Crusie and Katie Holmes or Brangelina, but they're the runaway stars of a new documentary that debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival and now threatens to be the sleeper hit of the summer when it opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles.

"The Aristocrats" is directed by comedian Paul Provenza with help from Penn Gillette and their friend, Peter Adam Golden. It's all about a bunch of famous comics who explain and tell and retell the dirtiest, most inappropriate joke they know. It's such a well-known joke that the directors were able to visit disparate comedians and get many different versions of the joke.

Some theater chains are banning this film. Of course, this is ridiculous. I'd rather hear "The Aristocrats" told many times than ever see everything on "The Island" blow up again. But hey, what can you do? Banning this movie is probably the best publicity it can get.

The comics in the movie are a who's who of the best in the business. They run the gamut from great old timers like Diller, Pat Cooper, Larry Storch, Chuck McCann and Shelley Berman to current superstars like Robin Williams, Drew Carey, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Paul Reiser. Joe Franklin even puts in an appearance.

The best overall performance may be from Sarah Silverman, whom I never cared for much prior to this. Kevin Pollak does a neat imitation of Christopher Walken, Hank Azaria does one of his great accented characters and my old college mate Eddie Gorodetsky the funniest man I've ever known does not fail to entertain. Dana Gould, a very underrated comic, also scores points.

The whole thing seems to be at least in part the idea of Frank DiGiacomo, a New York journalist who has always taken Friars Club Roasts more seriously than I have. In the fall of 2001, Frank was stopped in his tracks when Gottfried told "The Aristocrats" joke to the crowd. The gist of the joke is that it's about a colorful family act being presented by a bad talent agent to a booker. The act can be bent and twisted because it includes all forms of obscene and disgusting behavior things that would make Howard Stern and Andrew Dice Clay cringe. The punch line, which can come anywhere from a few minutes to two hours later, is that the act's name is, incongruously, "The Aristocrats."

What makes Provenza's film so much more than just the telling of a dirty joke is the way we get a very lovely and detailed look inside the world of American comedians. The camaraderie is the key. The joke links comedians of both sexes, all races and ages. You're almost sorry that Ben Stiller, Anne Meara, Jerry Seinfeld, Elayne Boosler and Carol Leifer aren't included. But nearly everyone else is, and the stunning array of them all bound together by this one bit shows off a tightly knit community. For example, you learn that Robin Williams and Drew Carey are more alike than they would think.

Phyllis Diller gets my vote for most unexpected and brilliant performance. She just turned 88. Maybe they filmed her when she was 86 or 87. She's sharp as a tack and then some. She's also hysterical and has comic timing that every kid would give his or her eyeteeth for. It's time for a Diller renaissance. A movie about her, a New Yorker profile, all of it.

In the meantime, it's also time for "The Aristocrats." Don't miss it.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Steve Bryant » July 29th, 2005, 9:43 pm

The Aristocrats did not open today in Indiana, no big surprise. But when I checked Roger Ebert's site for a review, I noted that he did not review it, but rather indicated it will open (in Chicago?) on August 12, so perhaps that is the date for "in a theater near you." But not if your nearby theater is an AMC theater; they have announced they will not screen it. Ebert's site does list all the comedians in the film and has a link to the trailer. There is also a link on hollywood.com.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Bill Mullins » July 29th, 2005, 11:33 pm

On HDNET earlier tonight I saw the last part of a show about the movie. It was mostly an interview with Proveza, but did include short (a couple of phrases, for example) clips from many of the performers.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Brian Marks » July 31st, 2005, 12:54 am

Just saw the film. Loved it. Penn's fingerprint was all over the movie. In some parts he was filming it.

Kevin Pollick was hilarious doing his impression of Christopher Walken.

All the women were great. Weny Liebman's take got the biggest laugh with my crowd. Sara Silverman was my favorite. Her sense of humor is quite controversial but I have been of fan of it for years. SHe has a stand up movie coming out that is not for the easily offended.

Johnny Thompson was in it. That was great. He was in the hot tub with a chick.

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby magicam » August 2nd, 2005, 1:50 pm

We who inhabit Orange County (CA) have to wait until August 12. It's playing now in Los Angeles, but I dislike LA traffic :eek: :eek: just enough to wait.

Clay

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Oliver Corpuz » August 2nd, 2005, 2:15 pm

There is now a website for the movie. You can watch the trailer, find theaters and showtimes, even a soundboard of audio clips, and there is a contest where you can tell your version of the joke and the winner's version will be included on the DVD with $1,000 prize.

www.thearistocrats.com

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby magicam » August 26th, 2005, 11:08 pm

Well my wife and I finally got to see the movie. Just my opinion, of course ....

Some genuinely funny spots, but few and far between certainly didnt meet the hype. Usually, the funniest spots were the ones which allowed the telling of the whole joke. Mead was one of the highlights.

The editing: my wife commented that this may have been the only way to do the movie without making it boring (i.e., she thought that maybe a series of entire jokes would have been monotonous), but to me the extremely choppy editing caused the movie to be tedious, bordering on being irritating. The movie gathered no momentum for me. But it was fun to see the comedians let their guards down a bit. I felt sometimes that I was hanging out with them after a show. I liked that.

It wasnt the language or the taboo concepts it just wasnt that funny.

Clay

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Chris Aguilar » August 26th, 2005, 11:35 pm

Perhaps they'll do a sequel with Blaine telling the joke from a glass box while Criss Angel shouts out his version while being dragged around by a
helicopter supported only by hooks in his back. :)

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Guest » August 27th, 2005, 7:48 am

I saw the movie and agree that there was way too much editing of the comedian's versions of the joke. One of the caveats about hearing a joke like that is to hear the "artists" complete version, otherwise you are missing an important point that the directors were trying to make; This joke is a comedians "jazz" piece and every version is different. When you chop these versions up, you lose the artists creativity becasue it is blended and therefore dosen't make sense and ends up not being funny.

The best version I ever heard was Tony Miller's version (which wasn't in the movie) that started in the lobby bar at the Airport Hilton in St. Louis during the Jubilee a few weeks ago. I witnessed a legendary moment.

Overall, this movie is worth seeing. I had a good time.


Regards,
Todd

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Re: Penn Jillette's joke.

Postby Terry Screen » August 27th, 2005, 9:30 am

I am so desperate to see this movie but it looks like I'll need to wait for the DVD (which there WILL definitely be).
There's some great background info on the movie over at it's official website including a great read of Penn's diary written during and after the making of the movie.
Highlights of that include anecdotes on Jay Marshall's and Eric Mead's involvement.
Go to . .
http://www.thearistocrats.com/
. . then click on the link at the bottom of the page where it says . ."What the Hell was Penn thinking?"

After reading the diary, it's clear that Penn's involvement was WAY more than putting up some cash.
I envy you guys who've seen it.

Oh well . . patience.

Terry.
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