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The Aristocrats

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Original title
The Aristocrats
Running time
92 min.
United States United States
Paul Provenza, Penn Jillette
Gary Stockdale
, , , ,
Think Film
Documentary. Comedy
Official Site
Synopsis / Plot
About the film (from the production notes): With THE ARISTOCRATS, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette have made the funniest movie ever, because it has more funny people than have ever been in one movie before. A labor of love three years in the making, encompassing more than 100 comedians and culled from over 100 hours of footage, Provenza and Jillette shot the documentary holding DV cameras in their own hot little hands and edited it at home on a Mac. As fellow comedians, Provenza and Jillette got their cameras rolling where no real filmmaker could ever go. They let us see how professional comedians talk after their sitcoms have wrapped and the audience has gone home.

The result is a heartfelt, private, unprecedented backstage look at famous comedians playing around. Provenza and Jillette got superstar comedians being funny for other comedians, and that is really no-kidding funny. They also captured a performance portrait unlike any other: The art of comic improvisation.

We see artists draw the same nude, hear musicians play the same song, and see actors do the same Shakespearean scene. Comedians, however, never tell the same joke. Provenza and Jillette got comedians to tell the same joke.

“The Aristocrats” is a joke that has been with comics since Vaudeville. “The Aristocrats” is joke that is never told in public, a private joke for comedians, so you’ve never heard it before. It’s a secret handshake among comics. It is also the dirtiest joke you will ever hear.

THE ARISTOCRATS is filthy, vile, disgusting – and hilarious. THE ARISTOCRATS captures over 100 of the world’s funniest, most gifted comics giving the joke their own interpretation. Even in comedy, it’s the singer, not the song.

THE ARISTOCRATS is dirtier than anything you’ve ever thought. That’s because you leave thoughts like this to the experts so you don’t have to think them yourself. You love comedy because it makes you laugh and cringe at somebody else. These comedians push boundaries you never knew existed. That’s because they’re artists.

THE ARISTOCRATS has no nudity, no sex, and no violence, but it’s one of the most shocking movies you will ever see. Take a deep breath. This is the power of language spoken by professionals. Professionals trying to outdo each other with the most hysterically disgusting, offensive, f**ked-up verbal images they can spit out. You’ll hear descriptions that will stay with you the rest of your life, whether you want them to or not.

THE ARISTOCRATS is an arresting portrait of the comic art – one that makes us cringe, laugh and think – all at once. Remember, these men and women are professionals. You sure don’t want to try this at home.
2005: Sundance Film Festival: Nominated for Grand Jury Prize - Documentary
2005: New York Film Critics Circle: Nominated for Best Documentary
2006: Satellite Awards: Nominated for Best Documentary DVD
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