Review: ‘The Aristocrats’

More than an examination of a classic dirty joke, "The Aristocrats" succeeded as a slick homemovie. The DVD version extends the best part of the movie's concept -- the joy of watching some of the world's best professional funny people bantering with their own kind -- with more than two hours of extra footage.

More than an examination of a classic dirty joke, “The Aristocrats” succeeded as a slick homemovie. Producers Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza taped dozens of their comedian friends — from Phyllis Diller and Pat Cooper to Gilbert Gottfried and Jon Stewart — riffing on the old joke, gleefully free of censors, community standards and any boundaries of good taste. The DVD version extends the best part of the movie’s concept — the joy of watching some of the world’s best professional funny people bantering with their own kind — with more than two hours of extra footage.

The scattershot style of the movie only hints at the fun of sitting in a coffee shop with Kevin Pollak or talking old jokes with Paul Reiser; that joy readily comes through in the extended interviews.

Natch, there are many more versions of the endless joke. Highlights include Pollak doing the setup as Albert Brooks and, perhaps most odd, porn star Ron Jeremy reciting a version in some sort of Shakespearean verse. There is also much more rambling profanity from former sitcom daddy Bob Saget. And “Aristocrat” cultists will be thrilled at extra footage of Sarah Silverman’s creepy, now famous monologue. Not only does she add detail to her “Joe Franklin raped me” scenario — the DVD includes Franklin’s reply.

The Aristocrats

Jan. 24; Single disc: $29.99

Production

A Lionsgate Home Entertainment release of the film by Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette.

Cast

With: Drew Carey, Richard Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, George Carlin, Bob Saget.
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