Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thinking about The Aristocrats

That movie I watched last night has been on my mind all day. I have been wondering why 100 different comedians telling and talking about one unspeakably obscene joke is so fascinating. I have also been imagining my own version of the joke, which is even worse and definitely more creative.

What I've been trying to reckon is, what's the appeal of this? Anyone can get gross. It's pretty much the easiest thing to do. Why does this joke have such enduring power? Why do comedians stretch their imaginations and performing powers to tell it? And why would anyone watch and enjoy a movie about it?

The best I can figure right now is that it's about trust. By actually telling this joke, the teller makes him/herself vulnerable. Think about it. How comfortable would you be telling a really filthy joke to anyone but those who you know will still love you after you tell it? To tell a joke like this you have to be ready to open yourself up to others thinking what they may of you. You also have to admit that you have thoughts like this. You have to be willing to take a big risk.

Also, there's showmanship involved. Every comedian has his/her version of the middle part of the story. I felt the urge to top the awful and creative details of some of the joke versions. There's also creativity in the delivery, at what point and how the surprise elements are dropped, what the tone and pacing are. To make this joke funny and impressive you have to work. This is very different from conversational profanity where an identical curseword is used over and over like punctuation, or breathing. This joke is horrible, beautiful, gross art.

So there it is. Did I just try to justify why I like this movie? Just in case. I will also admit. I love excessively gross humour. I know a few dirty jokes. And I do tell them. To people I trust, or want to impress and entertain with my creativity. Now I know one more.

question: do you tell rude jokes?

mompoet - sex poo and death - every story is about at least one


Carol said...

Nope but I think your analysis is probably accurate.

-R- said...

I saw on Carol's blog that you won a huge poetry award. CONGRATS!!!

I saw the movie, and although I am not really into "gross" humor, I thought it was interesting. The people I was watching with LOVED it. I think my husband has a crush on Bob Saget now.

mompoet said...

Thank you Carol. Thanks -R-. That Bob Saget part is surprising huh? I also love finding out that someone is different from their popular persona.