I know I’m way behind the times, but I recently saw “The Aristocrats.”
You may ask yourself, “How good can a documentary about the telling of one joke be?”
The answer is, Better.
Okay, the joke itself? Well.
For those few who haven’t seen or heard anything about the movie or joke:
A guy goes into a talent agent’s office and tries to get a booking. He performs the act (usually a family act), which is as gross, shocking, bizarre, crazy, and offensive as the teller can make it. Then the agent asks, “And what do you call your act?”
And I won’t give away the punch line because I’m not a spoiler.
Feel the suspense.
I’d go into detail about the movie’s greatness, but I’d just be rehashing old points about the joy, the camaraderie, the silliness, and the desire to simultaneously repulse and befriend with the most outrageous thing the comic mind can think of. See it, see it again, explore the DVD’s special features.
If you’re easily offended by strong language, get over it and appreciate the fact that none of these performers is being dishonest or duplicitous. They love comedy and they see this lame joke as an opportunity to show their talents.
Enough praise. Here’s why I bring the whole thing up. Lately I’ve been playing this little game with myself (by myself, I mean). I pick a random person I see in my daily amblings and imagine this person telling the joke, complete with accents, shyness, quirks, and graphic personal details. It always makes me chuckle.
You should try it. It’s a variation on the advice people give for overcoming fear of public speaking. Instead of imagining your audience without clothes, imagine them telling the joke.
Or just say, “This guy goes into a talent agent’s office…”