But My Friend the Rabbi points out that the movie really is depicting the transmission of a faith. Think about it: There is a a defined group, in this case professional comedians (who, the movie tells us, don't generally tell this joke to audiences, instead reserving it for their own post-show, backstage sessions amongst themselves). And there is a text that is at once unchanging and in need of interpretation, a scripture of sorts that serves as a guide.
The joke always contains three sections--the standard opening, involving a family act and a talent scout who says he doesn't represent family acts; a middle that is improvised, describing the raunchy act that the family performs for the scout; and a set punchline, in which the scout asks what the act is called and is told, "The Aristocrats." This joke, which is not even funny in any inherent way, is dutifully passed on from generation to generation in the comedy world, with each generation adding its own layers of interpretation and seeing it through its own unique eyes. Why this joke? Tradition. It was the favorite of the iconic comedians of years past, men (and the occasional woman) who are worshipped by every comic who's come along in years since. Where'd the joke come from? No one's sure, but there may have been earlier, slightly different versions that spawned this one.
And should you see the movie and convert to Aristocratism or something like that? Well, only you can decide for yourself if you've got "The Aristocrats" in your heart.
Unless you have absolutely the thickest skin possible, do not see this movie. I am not easily offended (a frequent watcher of South Park, Howard Stern fan, George Carlin devotee), but even I squirmed during this movie. Don't get me wrong - I thought it was funny. But it was truly the raunchiest stuff I'd ever heard in my life. The content had no limits and included topics like incest, defication, vomit, anal rape and the like. Rent with caution.
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