Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette


U.S.A., 2004, 92 Minutes, color

Director: Paul Provenza
Screenwriter: Penn Jillette
Release Date:
July 29, 2005 (NY/LA)
August 12, 2005 (Nationwide)
September 9, 2005 (UK)

Order the DVD:
Region 1 | Region 2

(Hi-Res quicktime)

Reviews (Added):
Imdb User Reviews (May 10)
The Hollywood Reporter (Feb. 7)
E-Film Critic
(Feb. 7)
(Feb. 7)
(Jan. 28)
NY Post (Jan. 27)
(Jan. 25)
Salt Lake City Tribune
(Jan. 24)
Washington Post
(Jan. 24)

Eddie Interview
Aristocrats Discussion
Aristocrats Reviews

Aristocrats Soundboard (not office friendly)
South Park version
Greg's Previews


Times Online
Radar Online (warning: graphic)
LA Times
LA Beat
Shecky Magazine
Star Telegram
The London News Review


Milwaukee Fans can see a FREE sneak preview August 18.


New York, New York – August 9 th , 2005 – Following the sensational theatrical opening in NY and LA of THE ARISTOCRATS, THINKFilm today announced a contest that invites fans of THE ARISTOCRATS to present their own takes on the “unspeakable obscenity” at the heart of the joke showcased in the movie. Running July 29 th through September 30 th , the contest is presented by THINKFilm with promotional partners and A contest announcement also follows credits on the film on all theatrical prints.

Submissions of the infamous joke will compete in two separate categories: Live Action, and Non-live action (animation, claymation, flash, etc..). One grand prize winner from each category will have their rendition of the joke presented on THE ARISTOCRATS DVD, and each will receive a $1,000 cash prize. 8 runners up will receive a THINKFilm DVD pack. Depending on space, there is a chance the 8 runner ups will be presented on the DVD.

After screening the movie, entrants are encouraged to come up with highly original creative renditions of the joke –a true challenge given that the film includes extremely diverse versions told via pantomime, a card trick, and a juggling act.

In THE ARISTOCRATS, comedy veterans and co-creators Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza capitalize on their insider status and invite over 100 of their closest friends, (who happen to be some of the biggest names in entertainment, from George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Carey to Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Saget, Paul Reiser and Sarah Silverman) to reminisce, analyze, deconstruct and deliver their own versions of the world's dirtiest joke, an old burlesque routine, too extreme to be performed in public.

Penn says "There's nothing more American than the dirty joke: Comedy and freedom of speech. Provenza and I never get sick of this joke, but we've run out of friends. We need you to tell the joke. Lay it on us. Push us. We've pushed the limits as far as we can take it. You might have to make up new vulgarity. Tell it live in public, tell it to someone dead in private, animation, claymation, performance art. The lawyers say just don’t break any laws and don’t actually use your family dog. We'll put the winners on the DVD with our friends from the movie, plus even more legends of comedy."

One of the smash hits of the 2005 Sundance film festival, this star-studded comedy extravaganza, which celebrates the art of improvisation and the finest (and most foul-mouthed) traditions of stand-up, is sure to stretch the limits of its audience, particularly how loud and long they can laugh. Since the smash theatrical launch in NY and LA on July 29 th , the movie is poised to be one of the year’s comedy hits.

A privately held film distributor with offices in New York City and Toronto, THINKFilm represents specialized cinema at its best - bold, business-oriented, yet fiercely and financially independent.

THINKFilm was founded by President/CEO Jeff Sackman in September of 2001. Mark Urman is the Head of the U.S. Theatrical Division. Currently in release for THINKFilm is the award-winning MURDERBALL, which THINK also executive produced and financed.

A handful of people in the movie, he said, didn't even know the joke. "A great example is Eddie Izzard," Provenza said of the British actor-comedian. "But he was so game, he said he'd give it a go. And what you see in the movie is him stumbling through the joke, and again it's a great example of 'it's the singer, not the song.' He doesn't even get the joke out, but tell me you don't get Eddie Izzard in a nutshell in that moment?"

At the film’s Los Angeles premiere last week, Izzard, whose sell-out stage shows are known for their affable whimsy, seemed uncomfortable with its content. “It’s not really my type of humour and I don’t think that the punchline really works at all, but it is a tribute to the blue humour that you do not see very often at the cinema,” he said. “It’s not the language. I swear on stage all the time — it’s just not to my taste.”


AMC Theatres, which will become the country's second-largest theater chain after its pending merger with Loews Cineplex, has decided not to exhibit "The Aristocrats," an upcoming unrated documentary about a particularly blue joke, on any of its screens. MORE... (07.13)

During a Q&A at Sundance, Penn Jillette speculated that the DVD should be out in time for Christmas, 2005. (05.19.05)

The Aristocrats: Directors Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette stuff this raunchy, hysterical documentary with dozens of comics – from Robin Williams to Eddie Izzard – telling filthy variations on a legendary showbiz joke that also serves as an illuminating dissection of the art of being funny. Provenza said that the plans were to release the film unrated this summer, with a packed DVD to follow in the fall. (03.23.05)

SYNOPSIS: The Aristocrats is a very unique film. It is funny and very perverse but has a seriousness of purpose that places it dead center in any discussion about values and mores and even more specifically the nature of taboo. It features more than 100 comedians and takes an unprecedented backstage look at the world of comics, both superstars and lesser-known lights. It is a labor of love by creators Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette; because of their own comic stature, they have access to people and situations that one cannot duplicate. And all in pursuit of telling one very, very, dirty joke, a joke that has been around since vaudeville but one that nobody I know has ever heard of or, more importantly, ever heard told. Well, in The Aristocrats you'll hear this same joke told 100 times. It's a joke that previously existed only in private, among comics, and it is the dirtiest joke you will ever hear.

While there is no nudity, no sex, and no violence in The Aristocrats, this is one of the most shocking and, perhaps for some, offensive films you will ever see. But its provocativeness is never gratuitous; it creates in its own singular fashion an absolutely arresting portrait of comic art.
Geoffrey Gilmore

Executive Producers : Penn Jillette, Paul Provenza
Producer : Peter Adam Golden
Coproducer : Ken Krasher Lewis
Associate Producers : Glenn S. Alai, Michael Lynn
Supervising Producer : Farley Ziegler
Editors : Paul Provenza, Emery Emery



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