The Aristocrats

Rated 3.0

The title of Paul Provenza’s documentary is the punch line to the dirtiest joke in the world, so vile that comedians won’t even tell it in public but will knock it around among themselves in every possible permutation. Provenza surveys scores of comics, from the world-famous (Robin Williams and George Carlin) to the sort of famous (Bruce Vilanch and Sarah Silverman) to the utterly obscure, as they discuss (and avoid and occasionally ignore) the joke. In its simplest form, the joke isn’t funny; it’s all in the telling, and Provenza proves once again that some people can tell a joke, and some people can’t. Whatever your threshold of disgust, the movie will cross it sooner or later, but if it’s high enough, you’ll have plenty of guilty laughs (my own favorite version came from the animated gang from South Park).