Lions Gate Films Home Entertainment | Release Date: July 29, 2005
6.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 89 Ratings
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Positive:
61
Mixed:
8
Negative:
20
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5
BearC.Feb 20, 2006
Wanted to like it more, but I agree with those who said it seemed slipshod in its construction. Humor requires economy.
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9
Ianl.Oct 30, 2005
I laughed during most of the film,. Being short and quick comments prevented me from getting bored at anytime despite it being an hour n half interview as a film. I did get uncomfortable at some interpretations on the joke, especially as I I laughed during most of the film,. Being short and quick comments prevented me from getting bored at anytime despite it being an hour n half interview as a film. I did get uncomfortable at some interpretations on the joke, especially as I work with kids. uncomfortable cos I was laughing at the the joke. I would have been rolling on the floor at Gilbert Godfrey telling it in the manner in which he did, excellent! Expand
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3
ColetteC.Oct 9, 2005
Lacking in artistic direction, The Aristocrats subjects the viewer to 92 monotonous minutes of hearing a simplistic joke. Of mild interest is the culture of comedy that underpins the joke -- which could be covered thoroughly in 20 minutes. Lacking in artistic direction, The Aristocrats subjects the viewer to 92 monotonous minutes of hearing a simplistic joke. Of mild interest is the culture of comedy that underpins the joke -- which could be covered thoroughly in 20 minutes. Overall, an inefficiently produced piece of boredom. Expand
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7
PaulaW.Oct 10, 2005
The hype led me to believe that this movie wouldn't just be funny, it would be thought-provoking and even life-changing. Well, it fell a little short. There were some funny moments: George Carlin's matter-of-fact delivery was the The hype led me to believe that this movie wouldn't just be funny, it would be thought-provoking and even life-changing. Well, it fell a little short. There were some funny moments: George Carlin's matter-of-fact delivery was the best, and Howie Mandel's absurdist circus version was good too. It didn't change my life, though. I just don't find showbiz navelgazing that interesting. This is a great documentary on a blah subject. Expand
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9
JohnKAug 22, 2005
People like "WK" are the reason that this movie works--basically, being offended is in this way is the same way as being scared by a slasher flick; fun as long as you know it's not serious. This was a really funny movie, and news flash; People like "WK" are the reason that this movie works--basically, being offended is in this way is the same way as being scared by a slasher flick; fun as long as you know it's not serious. This was a really funny movie, and news flash; they're just words. Nobody REALLY had intercourse with a gorilla. Expand
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5
EdK.Aug 26, 2005
When was the last time you laughed at a documentary? This movie is little different. The movie has the look and feel of a documentary, but it just so happens that the subject matter is (literally) a joke. I was hoping for a raucous When was the last time you laughed at a documentary? This movie is little different. The movie has the look and feel of a documentary, but it just so happens that the subject matter is (literally) a joke. I was hoping for a raucous roller-coaster ride of comedy riffs from our nation's greatest comedians. Instead, what I got was extreme over-analyzing of a bawdy joke. This movie thus ruins a joke the way an art critic ruins a painting--by trying to dissect it every which-a-way to get into every nook and cranny of the creator's mind. This movie could have been funny. It certainly has the star power and subject matter. But it fails (let me put it this way: in the theater I was in, there was maybe 10-15 minutes of audible laughter during the entire show). Expand
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0
RobertR.Aug 29, 2005
It should be marketed for 9th grade dropouts How brave does a criric have to be before advising anyone with a college or even a highschool education that this film is literately s..t and that he would be wasting his time and money if he went It should be marketed for 9th grade dropouts How brave does a criric have to be before advising anyone with a college or even a highschool education that this film is literately s..t and that he would be wasting his time and money if he went to see it. Expand
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10
jenSep 3, 2005
Awesome.
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6
MarkB.Sep 7, 2005
"Comedy is not pretty," said Steve Martin famously, and even though Martin himself doesn't appear in this 89-minute encyclopedic analysis of all you'd ever want to know plus much that you don't about the world's dirtiest "Comedy is not pretty," said Steve Martin famously, and even though Martin himself doesn't appear in this 89-minute encyclopedic analysis of all you'd ever want to know plus much that you don't about the world's dirtiest joke, The Aristocrats certainly proves his point. Suffice it to say that, if you were one of those folks that were offended or disturbed by Me and You and Everyone We Know's delicately handled subplot involving the 6-year-old and the cybersex website, then you have no business being within a 6-block radius of any multiplex showing this! The joke itself, involving a family introducing a unique new act to a talent agent, isn't much, and isn't supposed to be: it's simply the Oreo cookie that each individual comedian fills with his or her own brand of--well, given how many different types of bodily fluids and semi-fluids are spewed, swirled and sloshed around in most versions, I don't suppose that "cream filling" is the most apt of metaphors, is it? Incest, bestiality, necrophilia and various other sorts of less than sterling human behavior are all in a day's work here; The Aristocrats is proudly trumpeted as a film with something to offend everyone, and personally I was doing just fine until Andy Dick described a "strawberry sundae". (Congratulations, Andy, both for tipping my personal scale and for living up to half your name!) To call this movie "uneven" is to either miss or belabor the point; it's a given that some comics tell the joke funnier than others, but how funny you find individual renditions will probably depend on your liking of the comedians involved. (For me: George Carlin, Paul Reiser and Michael McKean si, Rip Taylor and Carrot Top no way, Jose!) It also goes without saying that the best variations on the story are the most unique, original or imaginative: particularly the card trick, the mime act and the Amish version (which was completely clean, but drew one of the biggest laughs from my audience). Paradoxically, I laughed harder at some of the good stuff than I did maybe at any movie since South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and yet must stop short of a full recommendation because the very concept of the movie is problematic: it kills the joke by explaining it to death. Far too many jump cuts, overdubs and other editing tricks get in the way of the enjoyment (what's the point of intercutting between two top-ranked comedians telling the joke the exact same way, anyway?); this is one of the only movies ever made where I desperately wanted the filmmakers to nail the freaking camera to the ground already! Nowhere is this more evident than in Gilbert Gottfried's post-9/11 Friars Club performance, which is repeatedly described as brilliant, hilarious and cleansing...but the problem is, directors Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette keep interrupting Gottfried's footage to cut back to people telling us how great his version was. Consequently, and obviously through no fault of his own, Gottfried loses all momentum and I honestly didn't see what made it so special. Sadly, if I were to retell this movie as an Aristocrats joke, it would go something like this: "A family walks into a talent agent's office. They tell him, 'Wait 'til you see our act!' The agent asks 'What is it?' Halfway through, the agent falls asleep." Expand
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1
InsanelySaneJan 26, 2006
ABSOLUTE RUBBISH (and here are some good reasons): Maybe i'm becoming sanely insane and I just am not 'with it' anymore.. Maybe my expectation of great comedians is not to be cheap, nasty and 'safe' - but to be witty ABSOLUTE RUBBISH (and here are some good reasons): Maybe i'm becoming sanely insane and I just am not 'with it' anymore.. Maybe my expectation of great comedians is not to be cheap, nasty and 'safe' - but to be witty and observant, make cutting edge, honest and relevant social and political commentary.. The Aristocrats joke has its place within comedy but this doco/film killed any mystery or joy about what it is.. and should be. One of the worst editing jobs i've seen, you have cut and splice bits and pieces - snippets of different comedians lines put together in an attempt to cheapen laughs - the result was chaotic and absurd. Terrible camera work distracted any attention to detail in the subtle gestres of the various comedians.. BUT the worst part in this doco single handedly must be the fact that THE JOKE HAD TO BE EXPLAINED - with emphasis given on why the punch line is so funny 'given the context'. Insulting given the fact that there was only one joke, told in variation by some big name comedians.. I felt sick not because of the content (which can be brilliantly told - particularly South Parks version comes to mind) but because yet again the few of us who are still insanely sane know that WE DESERVE FAR FAR BETTER THAN THIS CHEAP TRASH - The original joke has earned a new meaning in today's society - it has been violated and exploited perhaps beyond repair and the masses will lap it up because they lap up everything and anything. I gave it a 1 because they managed to persuade so many comedians to take part in a doco that serves to degrade their reputation. Well Done! Expand
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4
JakeOct 4, 2006
There's really not enough substance to keep it interesting for an hour and a half......and for some reason I didn't find it all that shocking...nothing I hadn't heard before. There are a few funny bits, but really, it was There's really not enough substance to keep it interesting for an hour and a half......and for some reason I didn't find it all that shocking...nothing I hadn't heard before. There are a few funny bits, but really, it was quite disappointing....just more self-indulgent nonsense from Hollywood Expand
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6
GaborA.Feb 11, 2006
Gilbert Godfrey's rendition of the joke was single handedly worth the price of admission.
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10
BurtonP.Feb 18, 2006
This is just funny and clever. It's not about vulgarity, it's not about the joke. The joke is just a way to get inside the world, process and craft of comedy. The challenges and questions about where lines get crossed are This is just funny and clever. It's not about vulgarity, it's not about the joke. The joke is just a way to get inside the world, process and craft of comedy. The challenges and questions about where lines get crossed are compelling. And it's funnier by far than any typical hollywood comedy. It's full of people having fun and we can enjoy it along with them as they have a blast. The movie's structure is brilliant - it takes us along escalating levels of transgression, and gives us variations of process along the way. And it is cathartic to roll around in the filth when no one gets hurt by doing so. This movie is a great documentary about a rarified subject that entertains the whole way through. And the fact that so many people disagree is part of the point of the whole movie. Everyone's lines are crossed at different places, everyone's sense of humor is different, and everyone's interpretation of what this movie is about is different. Hmmm.. that's what the doc is saying about the joke. Interesting... miss that obvious fact and of course you won't undertsand how brilliant this little gem of a movie is. It's so much smarter than it pretends to be, and that some people here understand. I have watched the dvd a few times already and it gets better each time. Expand
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5
MattA.Feb 3, 2006
One review says that you'll either love it and laugh the whole time or be terribly offended. I disagree. I wasn't offended one bit (on the contrary, I think I could come up with a better aristocrats joke than half these guys), but One review says that you'll either love it and laugh the whole time or be terribly offended. I disagree. I wasn't offended one bit (on the contrary, I think I could come up with a better aristocrats joke than half these guys), but I was hardly laughing the whole time. Although there are a few funny moments (Bob Saget's is overrated, Cartman is hilarious), it wears really thin by the end, and the last third at least is just really tedious. One of the weakest documentaries in a year full of great ones including Murderball, Grizzly Man, Enron, and New York Doll. Expand
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1
BlisterfishCafeMar 10, 2006
This movie sucked. The "Joke" is stupid. It is neither shocking nor insightful. Dull, billious and a waste of time. Nothing to see here...I gave it a "1" because Gilbert made me smile for 63 seconds. Thank you.
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2
AndiCAug 23, 2005
I was prepared to love this film, instead I found it annoying. Some of the comics were hilarious; they were funny without being cruel. It's revealing that some of the others thought violent abuse was amusing. Also revealing is that some I was prepared to love this film, instead I found it annoying. Some of the comics were hilarious; they were funny without being cruel. It's revealing that some of the others thought violent abuse was amusing. Also revealing is that some great living comics WEREN'T in the film. And the editors made a mess of the Eddie Izzard clips. Expand
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9
C.B.BrowneSep 20, 2005
Fantastic. Gilbert Gottfried, Sarah Silverman & the South PArk boys steal the show.
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7
MichaelD.Sep 4, 2005
Masterfully reveals the artistry that goes into comedy - in the framework of a joke so foul, you'll either vomit, or feel ashamed that you're too amused to find the time.
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10
SuzziSep 9, 2005
My husband and I laughed so hard we missed half the movie. You have to remember it is all just a joke. Funniest movie I have ever seen. Can't wait for DVD.
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0
CoyoteJan 25, 2006
I was prepared to appreciate this movie on the basis of the reviews and viewer comments but I must admit that it turned my stomach. How much funnier it would have been to turn this sad tale on its head with a more than wholesome storyline I was prepared to appreciate this movie on the basis of the reviews and viewer comments but I must admit that it turned my stomach. How much funnier it would have been to turn this sad tale on its head with a more than wholesome storyline and a disgusting and surprising punch line. Expand
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7
[Anonymous]Feb 21, 2006
Once you understand what the joke is all about, it gets a lot more funny.
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6
EthanP.Mar 25, 2006
I can break this movie into three tones: extraordinarily hilarious (when the comedians are trying to be funny and are actually telling the joke)...probably accounts for 30 minutes at most. Insightful (a few really perceptive remarks about I can break this movie into three tones: extraordinarily hilarious (when the comedians are trying to be funny and are actually telling the joke)...probably accounts for 30 minutes at most. Insightful (a few really perceptive remarks about the jokes from the comedians)...about 3 minutes. Banal (the same lame thought repeated over and over...the bulk of the movie. Now let's get Drew Carey to say it this way. Now it's time for us to get George Carlin to spin it this way. For us, it's now time to hear Robin Williams say it in a way like this. Mind you, it's not the repetition of the joke that's bad. It's the repetition of the stupid thoughts about the joke that are bad. Let me repeat that in slightly different words. Apparently, the editor was wasted and/or needed 90 mintues of footage. Oh, and the buildup to Gilbert Gottfried's alledgedly best-ever telling of the joke is so asinine. It was probably very funny in the context of 3-weeks-after-9/11. It is not at all funny in the context of this film, wherein his telling of the joke has already been said almost verbatim all throughout the movie. Let me repeat that... Expand
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10
karenf.Aug 24, 2005
It was vulgar and funny. A bit schocking but as good as advertised
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10
miket.Aug 26, 2005
So damn funny I couldnt breath.
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8
JeffL.Aug 31, 2005
Utterly unique documentary - the brainchild of comedian Paul Provenza and magician Penn Jillette - could be subtitled "Anatomy of a Dirty Joke," as dozens of comics - famous and obscure, young and old, male and female, brilliant and awful - Utterly unique documentary - the brainchild of comedian Paul Provenza and magician Penn Jillette - could be subtitled "Anatomy of a Dirty Joke," as dozens of comics - famous and obscure, young and old, male and female, brilliant and awful - take turns telling and retelling the same joke. The joke itself (usually known in comedy circles as "The Aristocrat") is simple and not very funny; the payoff comes in watching each comedian telling the joke in his or her own style, adding layers of filth, grossness, and perverse detail to their particular version. It's not enough for me to warn you to stay away if you're easily offended; if you think that there's ANY possibility that mere words will truly upset you, find another movie. But if you have a genuine interest in the inner workings of the comic mind and a high tolerance for outrageous descriptions of every act of sex and scatology imaginable, this is a must-see. While a few of the performances fall flat (and an out-of-it Eddie Izzard appears to be plastered during his bit), many soar, in their own, sick ways. Sitcom stars Bob Saget and Paul Reiser are uproarious in ways that fans could never even imagine from Full House or Mad About You. Kevin Pollak tells the whole thing while impersonating Christopher Walken (!) Tom Smothers, who knows the joke, tells it to brother Dick, who doesn't. Carrie Fisher brings her famous parents (Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher) into the story, while a very pregnant Judy Gold incorporates her unborn baby. Novelty acts include a juggling team (impressive), a mime (surprisingly funny), a card-trick artist (remarkable), and a ventriloquist (awful.) Arguably the funniest, and certainly of the most historic interest, is Gilbert Gottfried's rare public telling of the joke at a Friars Club roast (of Hugh Hefner) just weeks after September 11, 2001. Gottfried's fearlessly outrageous, take-no-prisoners rendition draws huge, cathartic laughs not only from the audience, but from his fellow comics, who gasp in helpless disbelief as he tells the joke that has become their "little secret." Some may grow weary of the repetition of the material, but I found this to be a fascinating, original, and often explosively funny cinematic experiment. Expand
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10
AlanR.Jan 25, 2006
Like nothing you've ever seen before.
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5
TomM.-Feb 22, 2006
Aristocrats is a great a movie as reviews suggest. It consists of telling the same joke or parts of it about 1,019 times and the joke is not even funny after the second time. It's only worth your time because of all of the great Aristocrats is a great a movie as reviews suggest. It consists of telling the same joke or parts of it about 1,019 times and the joke is not even funny after the second time. It's only worth your time because of all of the great comedians that somehow got paid off to do the movie. Not Recommended. Expand
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10
JulieL.Feb 27, 2006
You're going to love this film if you're interested in the craft of comedy, and in the relationships comedians have to other comedians, their intelligence about the craft and their delight in comdey's particular voices and You're going to love this film if you're interested in the craft of comedy, and in the relationships comedians have to other comedians, their intelligence about the craft and their delight in comdey's particular voices and styles. And you'll hate it if you have some kind of agenda about keeping things clean and making comedy serve a social good. Don't bother to see it if you're only interested in the dirty joke, because that's not what this documentary is about. What it's really about the delivery, the voice of the comedian, the style, the beautiful riffs of particular tellers of the joke, the sense of a pattern and the breaking of patters, almost like great improvisational jazz.The stand-up comedians are very honest about the joke's old-fashioned appeal, its roots in vaudeville, the appeal of it, nostagically. Some of their talk wanders over intosweet melancholy, like that of Paul Resie, whose take on the joke is my own favorite. Granted, some of the talk gets mind-bogglingly gross. But the movie is fascinating and funny. Listening to some of the comedians laughing and enjoying each other while telling it - I loved it, and laughed along with them, and learned quite a bit about the sense of voice among comedians. Expand
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3
C.S.Feb 28, 2006
This movie was painfully average. I didn
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9
GlennC.Mar 25, 2006
Cartman's telling of the joke brought me to where I was afraid I was going to die from laughing. After banging my fist, stomping my foot and squirming into unprecedented convulsions, a sort of transcendent bliss took over and I knew Cartman's telling of the joke brought me to where I was afraid I was going to die from laughing. After banging my fist, stomping my foot and squirming into unprecedented convulsions, a sort of transcendent bliss took over and I knew I's survive. But the whole rest of the movie isn't far behind. This is a masterclass in comedy. If you love the craft of comedy and it's greatest practitioners then see this immedietely. Expand
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6
RonN.Apr 14, 2006
First off - anyone that gave this a rating of 2 or lower should be banned from EVER giving another review again. Anyone that thinks this movie was suppose to be funny (for the actual joke) needs to check into rehab ASAP. Also, anyone First off - anyone that gave this a rating of 2 or lower should be banned from EVER giving another review again. Anyone that thinks this movie was suppose to be funny (for the actual joke) needs to check into rehab ASAP. Also, anyone who's review went down the road of complaining how "The Joke had to be explained" - PLEASE do society a favor - DO NOT HAVE KIDS! Come on folks - it was a documentary Expand
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4
CircusSep 21, 2010
Its a shame that they did not just have the entire footage for each comedian from start to finish rather than merely showing exerps from each comedian. Not for the faint hearted. Possibly the most foul things to hear. Hilarious to see someIts a shame that they did not just have the entire footage for each comedian from start to finish rather than merely showing exerps from each comedian. Not for the faint hearted. Possibly the most foul things to hear. Hilarious to see some comedians such as Gilbert Gottfried but others don't make me laugh as much. It's easier to type it into youtube to find your favourite comedian telling the joke. Expand
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6
lususgreeneMay 13, 2011
I laughed, I busted a gut, it was hilarious. Once. When I saw this movie the first time I thought it was histerical. Everytime I tried to watch it after I couldn't get 15 minutes in before I would get bored and turn it off. This movie seemsI laughed, I busted a gut, it was hilarious. Once. When I saw this movie the first time I thought it was histerical. Everytime I tried to watch it after I couldn't get 15 minutes in before I would get bored and turn it off. This movie seems to have a serious lack of staying power. Expand
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7
SeriosityNov 4, 2012
Great comedians telling their own versions of The Aristocrats joke. You get a lot of insight from comedians on how joke telling works for them and in general. Really, really funny if nothing else.
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3
juliankennedy23Nov 2, 2014
The Aristocrats: 3 out of 10: The joke in the Aristocrats is not funny. (Many comedians on tape admit this outright.) It really isn't a joke as much as a Shaggy Dog story. The funny part of a Shaggy Dog story is watching someone who thinksThe Aristocrats: 3 out of 10: The joke in the Aristocrats is not funny. (Many comedians on tape admit this outright.) It really isn't a joke as much as a Shaggy Dog story. The funny part of a Shaggy Dog story is watching someone who thinks it's a joke squirm. The more you can make a (in this case) prude squirm the funnier the raunch is.

The funniest scene in the movie is Gilbert Gottfried's masterful and legendary telling of the joke at the Fryers Club soon after 9/11. What makes it funny is watching a surprising prudish and confused Hugh Hefner's reaction listening to the joke. (The exact performance wouldn't be as funny if Larry Flynt for example was on the dais. And the filmed performance wouldn't work had not Hefner not been shown in frame.) The Gottfried performance comes late in the film and we are treated to dozen's of top comedians wasted telling the same joke sans victim. And since the audience by this time is intimately familiar with the mechanics of the magic this is true tedium. Moreover most of the comedians telling the joke do so to the camera with no audience in sight. There is a reason that comedy routines are done in a concert film style performance before a live audience.

There is a lot of top flight talent here. Drew Carey, Robin Williams, George Carlin among others yet it is a mime (Steven Banks) that tells the joke most creativity and Bob Saget who tells the most disgusting version. Honestly the film shoots it's um …. gun much to soon in the feature and nothing removes humor from something faster than explaining it.

There are some self serving insights about comedy in general and some so called inside stuff that by its very nature isn't but the majority of the film really is dozens of comics telling the same joke over and over again that wasn't all that funny to begin with.
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