No nudity. No violence. Unspeakable obscenity.

That’s the tagline of The Aristocrats, a film due for release on July 29 in the US. It features a host of famous comedians retelling the same, utterly obscene, joke – each one trying to outdo the other in pushing back the boundaries of taste and decency (to coin a phrase).

According to The Times the joke dates back nearly a century, and was passed on as a trade secret among comedians.

Several cinemas in the US have refused to show it, and it has not been given an official rating. Christian critic Dr Ted Baehr has branded it “a foul movie”

They think they are pushing the envelope but they don’t understand that most of America is turned off by their antics

The film hasn’t yet registered on the radars of the usual suspects here in the UK, but it’s just a matter of time. Watch this space.

Oh, and if you haven’t heard the joke, you can watch Cartman’s version (Quicktime movie), or read it at the Dead Frog, where you can while away a pleasant afternoon clicking on the “Random Aristocrats Joke” button.

10 Responses to “No nudity. No violence. Unspeakable obscenity.”

  1. Marc says:

    I don’t get it… neither did Cartman. Maybe it’s just that it’s a crap joke made into a dull film. The same could be said for “Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself” which Sky billed as “Harold and Maud for the 21st Century” – what Sky apparently missed was the fact that Harold and Maud was funny!

  2. Andrew Nixon says:

    I don’t get it either. The people protesting about this have probably caused it to be seen by more people than would otherwise have gone to see it.

  3. Shaun Hollingworth says:

    If folk don’t like the sound of it, they simply shouldn’t go see it. They should also let people who do want to, do that too.

  4. tom p says:

    I always though that the point was that there was no real punchline in the traditional sense, it’s about the delivery and imagination for the act itself, then you can all join in with the end together.
    That’d be why it’s a comedians’ joke, ‘cos it’s a subversion on the normal joke telling conventions.
    It’s rarely ever actually funny though.
    According to IMDB it’s got Hank Azaria in it, the guy who voices Homer, so the Simpsons geek in me wants to see it just because of that, but it otherwise just looks like it’ll be rather dull.

  5. Marc says:

    I hear the punchline surrounds the idea that “Aristocrats will do anything” and it’s still not funny even after that. The “joke” surrounds how disgusting the body is, as Andrew and Tom are quite right, and I expect that a lot of people will see it just to hear famous people swearing and making cracks about child abuse, anal sex, incest etc. Might be “funny” for a few minutes, but making a movie about it seems odd. Penn Jillette should stick to making comedy magic – the last movie I saw of his (Penn and Teller Get Killed, 1989) was crap too but at least Teller was in that.

  6. Andrew Nixon says:

    If you like Penn and Teller, try and get hold of their TV show Bullshit! Very funny program in which they tackle, well, bullshit. The episodes on the Bible, creationism and swearing are almost TV classics. Mediawatch would hate it. Especially the swearing one.

  7. Marc says:

    Bullshit! was a brilliant show, Andrew! I subscribed to the mailing list to get more news but it’s US Centric so there’s no real clues as to when it’s on.

    The one on Creationism was a peach – but since then one of the rulings covered has been overturned (a victory for common sense) and that dumb sticky about Darwinism being a theory has now been removed. Do you remember that guy who said (with a real poker face) “I belive that the Earth was created 10,000 years ago”? I nearly pissed myself laughing.

    I’m a big P&T fan, but when they step outside the realms of magic, which they do better than just about anyone (gotta love those Magic Wands with real bullets) things seem to go off the rails.

    I honestly believe that joke might have been funny 100 years back, when being an Aristocrat meant something, but now it’s merely an anarchic anachronism. Seems like it’s got so many comics hooked because it’s a comedian’s “in” joke, but the problem with those is few people, if any, get them.

    Seriously, what worries me is that when distys and keys avoid this because it’s a crap movie, the Christian right will be trumpetting a victory for their brand of mind control. At least it’ll probably make it to Channel Four or Five eventually and really get on their wicks.

  8. Andrew Nixon says:

    The first and second series of the show are on DVD in the USA, if you have a multi-region DVD player. No release here yet, sadly.

  9. Marc says:

    This may be a dead thread by now, but just in case it isn’t, how about a variation on the joke (my own version is in production):

    Steven Green, Tony Blair, Ruth Kelly and Peter Vardy turn up at a talent agency with a monkey and a bishop. The talent agent says, “I’m sorry, I don’t represent political acts, they’re just too samey.”

    “But,” says Green, “you’ve got to see ours – I’m sure you’ll want to represent us.”

    [. . . insert joke text here . . . ]

    So the talent agent sits back in his chair, wipes his sweat-covered brow and after the longest time says, “that’s amazing! What do you call yourselves?”

    To which, Peter Vardy replies, “The Creationists!”

  10. john powell says:

    so the joke is that it’s not funny… I still don’t get it!