The Aristocrats

Thoroughly middle of the road doc that tries to deconstruct a legendary vaudeville joke replete with incest, scatology, sodomy, bestiality and all that fun stuff. The snag is that none of those aforementioned hobbies is inherently all that funny, and neither is the joke itself. The repertoire of comedians on display here, all doing their schtick, sometimes hits a comic bulls-eye so, really, it’s all in the execution. Still, one has to wonder did this material deserve a ninety-minute running time? Well, no. A half-hour uncensored segment on Comedy Central might’ve been more appropriate. And another thing: The Aristocrats is appallingly edited. It’s as if the filmmakers tossed all their footage into a cuisinart and cranked it on high. The editing is erratic, breathless, and hugely irritating–quite ironic, I think, considering that comedy is all about rhythm and timing, neither of which this documentary maintains particularly well. A tedious dud that sparks once or twice with big laughs.

Grade: C

Directed by: Paul Provenza
Cast: Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, David Brenner, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Billy Connolly, Andy Dick, Phyllis Diller, Whoopi Goldberg, Gibert Gottfried, Eric Idle, Larry Miller, Martin Mull, Bob Saget, Sarah Silverman

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