3/04/2006

The Aristocrats

In the documentary "The Aristocrats" (not to be confused with the Disney cartoon "The Aristocats"), various comedians give their version of a joke that has been around since the early days of Vaudeville. It is not for the easily offended, and because of it's langauge, the movie rated is NC-17, which means you wont find it at BlockBuster. The thing that makes the joke so durable is that it allows each comedian to do their own take on it.

In the movie, along with 100 comedic takes on the joke, you get a history of stand-up comedy, how it has evolved from joke telling to each comedian developing his/her own style of monologuing.It also attempts to dissect humor to understand what makes us laugh.If you don't want me to spoil the joke for you, I suggest you rent it right away. I'll wait here for you while you do. I'm not going any where.
Back? Good. Now the joke consists of this. A man goes into a talent agent with a new act for the stage. Here's where the comedian is allowed to freestyle, as he/she then describes the most morally depraved and explicit things one could conceive humans performing. Usually involving his whole family. After decribing in graphic detail the most degenerate things ever imagined, the agent then asks, "And what do you call yourselves?"
Because the joke is so pliable, I thought maybe it could use an updating. Now, I'm not much of a joke writer, the only thing I've ever written that could be construed as one is "What's the difference between a conservative's mind and Bill Clinton's Bible? Every once in a while, Bill Clinton opens his Bible." But, I thought I would try my hand at rewriting "The Aristocrats" to make it less vulgar and more topical:

A politician walks in to a corporate sponsor and says he wants to run for office, and would like a contribution. The CEO asks him what he ideals he plans to run on.
The politician says, "First, I'm going to challenge the vote count if it doesn't go my way, and if it is going my way will fight to the Supreme Court to stop a recount. I'll ignore warnings from my staff about possible enemy attacks or devastating storms, and when they do occur, I'll shift responsibility back on to the very people I ignored.
"Then, using the very attack that I ignored as a pretext, I'll suspend the civil liberties of those with the wrong religion, and lock them up with out the guarantees they are granted under the Constitution. I'll put my political enemies on no-fly lists, and break the law to spy on those who don't agree with my policies.
"I'll violate international law by invading sovereign nations under false pretenses with intelligence I had fixed to justify that invasion. I'll take the citizens of that nation who are opposing my army to prison, where I will allow them to be tortured, in direct violation of treaties our country has signed and laws our country has passed. And if anyone publicly question my evidence that I know is false, I will go as far as to commit treason to retaliate against their person.
"Using the illegal war as a pretext, I will move open government behind closed doors, and stonewall any attempt at gaining information as 'classified..for national security purposes.' I will also use the war as a pretext for a power grab where I move more of the constitutionally exacted separation of powers into an imperial presidency.
"I will run as a conservative, promising to cut spending and the size of government, all the while increasing government spending and the size of the Federal government, increasing the budget deficit by offering tax cuts to the people who are profitting most from the war I wage with taxpayer money. I will also increase the trade deficit by allowing more business to fall into foreign hands, even if they are linked to the very people I have proclaimed enemies.
"I will promise to restore integrity while miring myself in cooruption.
"Basically, I intend to wrap myself in the flag while I wipe my ass on the Constitution."
"Oh," said the CEO ,"and what do you call yourself?"
"A patriot."


and there you have it. Not very funny, but I never said I was a joke writer. Think you could do better (probably) here's your chance. How would you tell this joke?

13 comments:

abi said...

Actually, you told it pretty well. If it isn't funny, it's because it's true.

GraemeAnfinson said...

so true. Nice take on the joke

tp said...

Here's my version of the joke Lew: A bastard and an asshole walk into a bar. The bastard says: "I'm buying, George."
The asshole answers: "Cool, Dick."

Rory Shock said...

gonna hafta think on it ... nice conversion

Anonymous said...

I personally think the Aristocats is more appropriate.

I hate that movie. Except for the cool music jam. (everybody wants to be a cat)

peacechick Mary said...

Bush has to be the worst ever and the most historically comical prezdent ever. Everything the neocons do is so outrageous that the only way to comprehend it is to put it in humor.

LILY BRANFORD said...

True, we need a humor respite from reading about the corpocratic apocalypse.
"Its the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine."

shrimplate said...

The punchline hurts too much; otherwise, you told the joke very well.

Have I said how much I hate these Bush mother-effers?

-epm said...

In the documentary "The Aristocrats" (not to be confused with the Disney cartoon "The Aristocats")...

Yeah, tell me about it. Dragged the whole family down to the cinema ready for some good old fashioned golden aged animation then BAM!

On the up-side, my 9 year-old seemed to enjoy it.

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