So A Guy Walks Into a Talent Agent's Office...
I finally got to see The Aristocrats tonight, and it was everything I'd dreamed of.
Literally, as it turns out.
Allow me to explain. As I wander through my life, doing my best to dodge the Cap'n's World War II-inspired nonsense, I'll occasionally get a profound sense of déjà vu accompanied by the feeling that I've done or seen something before in a dream. I don't know if this is a common thing or what, but it happens a lot. And considering the kinds of dreams I have--my all-time favorite is the one where I meet Mark Waid at a big convention where the urinals are filled with Rob Liefeld comics and then Gollum steals my sandwich--it can be very disconcerting.
A few weeks back, I mentioned that I had a dream about seeing The Airstocrats that involved my old English professor, a double-decker bus with movie theater seats mounted on the inside, and a high school party. This, oddly enough, was not the dream that inspired my eerie sense of familiarity. For that, I have to go back about six months to a weird dream I had about going to see a movie at what turned out to be a porno theater on the roof of a building. There were more twists to it, but that's the high notes.
Anyway, as we're walking into the Regal 7, down the long hallway that leads to the very last theater, I suddenly realize that that is the hallway from my dream. Combined with the fact that the Regal is on the roof of a mall, and that the theater was a dead ringer for the one in my dream except for the placement of the projection booth, and it was a surreal experience.
Fortunately, no monster trucks busted into the theater during the third act, so my dreams of prophecy remain at least partially unfulfilled.
As for the movie itself, it was brilliant.
I love stand-up comedy. I mean, I buy more stand-up albums than music, which I'm pretty sure is weird. But a movie where around a hundred comedians talk about and tell their versions of a single joke--even though that sounds terrible--is amazing to watch.
At one point, they have a lot of the comedians talk about the first time they heard the joke, which in the world of stand-up comedy is like picking up that issue where Batman throws a car battery at that guy. The first time I heard it was online, in a recording of a bit that Matt Stone and Trey Parker did in character as Cartman and Kyle from South Park. It ranks as one of the most offensive--and consequently hilarious--versions of the joke I've ever heard, and it blew my mind. It's included in the movie, complete with animation.
For a documentary about a dirty joke, it did a good job of meeting all of my high expectations. I remember hearing about it from my pal Chan after he saw it a couple weeks ago. "Chris," he told me, "Sarah Silverman tells the funniest version of the joke while lounging on a divan."
If that doesn't pique your interest, nothing will.
And her version is great, building to an unexpected punchline that--and I'm serious--made me cry with laughter. Another standout was Bob Saget, who tells it so well that there's an entire bit with other people talking about how well he does it, and, much to my surprise, Gilbert Gottfried, who is hilarious.
It's the most beautifully obscene movie that I've ever seen, and it's delightful.