Naturellement, the Aristocrats.
June 7, 2004 10:52 PM   Subscribe

South Park does the "Aristocrats" joke. (WARNING! Windows Media file, very very not safe for work.) "The Aristocrats" is a long-lived comedians' in-joke--or, rather, an extraordinarily filthy joke that's not really a joke. (Gilbert Gottfried knocked 'em dead with it shortly after 9/11.) Now it's going public (sort of): Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza are making a movie featuring over 100 comedians telling their own versions. The South Park version linked above is "not even in the top 5 for dirtiest." Yikes!
posted by 88robots (54 comments total)

Beautiful. Reminds me of the great clown joke.
posted by hincandenza at 11:32 PM on June 7, 2004

I don't get it.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:45 PM on June 7, 2004

I really laughed at all of this, thanks for the links.

And hincandenza, thanks for making me realize that I'm not the only on e to hear that joke.
posted by Be'lal at 11:53 PM on June 7, 2004

posted by Down10 at 1:03 AM on June 8, 2004

i've always seen the aristocrats as a way for a comedian to prove how funny he or she really is. it's not a joke and it totally abuses the trust you put in the performer standing in front of you... but do you laugh anyway...? the funny thing for me about the south park version is how cartman keeps cutting kyle off, and how kyle keeps assuming there will be a redeeming punch line. i don't know how well it's going to hold up being told 100+ times in a row tho'. i guess then the viewer will be left to just observe the personal differences between each telling.
posted by t r a c y at 1:35 AM on June 8, 2004

posted by matteo at 1:38 AM on June 8, 2004

"I don't get it either"

Man, Cartman totally nailed the lines. I couldn't stop laughing every time the other kids said "Dude, stop!"
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 1:38 AM on June 8, 2004

My faith in MetaFilter is restored. In the MoFi thread on this video it was just people complaining about how offensive and not funny it was, to which I had to reply:

"Oh man that's funny. And to those who don't get it: you were hoping for a punchline, and were hoping that a joke with this much vulgarity would be so clever that it would give you an excuse to repeat the telling and have it pay off with what would have to be the best punch line ever to make it worth all that build up. And then Lucy takes the ball away, and you feel stupid.

The joke is on you :) (us)"
posted by Space Coyote at 2:08 AM on June 8, 2004

I dunno about you guys, but I was laughing like 15 seconds into the video already... Don't even bother trying to explain it to anybody who "doesn't get it" ... you're just wasting your time.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 2:13 AM on June 8, 2004

Well, I think I understand the concept, but it still just seems like a lot of silly old rubbish.
posted by ed\26h at 3:34 AM on June 8, 2004

I hope I'm not spoiling anything for anyone here, but is this the "great clown joke"? Seems like it fits the bill... buildup, then very little payoff at the end.
posted by emelenjr at 4:30 AM on June 8, 2004

yeah, although i've seen better versions of the great clown joke. namely this one.
posted by joedan at 4:45 AM on June 8, 2004

The Observer's Friars Roast coverage is some of the best reading on the net.
Drew Carey 10/12/1998

Jerry Stiller 10/11/1999

Rob Reiner 10/16/2000

Richard Belzer 6/18/2001

Chevy Chase 10/7/2002

Smothers Brothers 10/13/2003

posted by putzface_dickman at 4:54 AM on June 8, 2004

Okay... the clown joke I like. The aristocrats, I don't.
posted by twine42 at 5:20 AM on June 8, 2004

The Purple Joke.

My friends hate me, whenever I say, "There was a purple king..."
posted by armoured-ant at 5:32 AM on June 8, 2004 [1 favorite]

All these lame/excellent "shaggy dog" jokes remind of one of my favorites (which doesn't appear to be online anywhere)--how many people here know the one that starts "A raisin walks into a bank..."?
posted by LairBob at 5:53 AM on June 8, 2004

what Space's really hysterical (and having Cartman tell it is just perfect)
posted by amberglow at 5:55 AM on June 8, 2004

No soap; radio.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:57 AM on June 8, 2004

I'd tell you what I think of this style of joke, but you're not a monk.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:23 AM on June 8, 2004

My brother used to torture me with this one when we were kids:
Q: Why can't the Queen Mary fit into Times Square?
A: Because ice cream has no bones.
... which never made me laugh -- just made me puzzled. It served as kind of a koan, I suppose.
posted by lodurr at 6:26 AM on June 8, 2004

The South Park rendition of this is nigh perfect. The timing, the subject matter, the interruptions and rebukes, it's just artistry, pure and simple.

I saw that SP clip probably 2 months or more ago, and I'm glad 88robots had the courage to post it, along with other fantastic information. Fantastic post.

Don't even bother trying to explain it to anybody who "doesn't get it" ... you're just wasting your time.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 4:13 AM CST on June 8

Absolutely true.

Lodurr: that's actually a different kind of joke. Yours is much more like the:

Q: How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Fish!

The Aristocrats is all about the telling, the delivery, and the pointless embellishment along the way. It's like performance art.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:29 AM on June 8, 2004

I don't have fond memories of a friend of mine telling and retelling the "no soap, radio" joke and me saying, I don't get it, I don't get it, would you just shut the fuck up? I don't think he got it either, actually. Weird, but I simply don't find anti-humour to be all that funny unless it's in a group setting, and then it's more mean-spirited than anything else.

FWIW, Cartman is the perfect character to be telling the Aristocrats joke. Christ, I love Cartman.
posted by ashbury at 6:38 AM on June 8, 2004

My kids love "No soap, radio!" Makes me proud to be their father, yes it does.
posted by tommasz at 7:02 AM on June 8, 2004

I've seen this before -- actually, I thought I saw it here, but I guess not -- but it's still some funny, funny shit. Penn's right, though; it's a lot shorter and a lot cleaner than couple of other versions I've heard. I think that what it lacks (!) in filthiness, it makes up for in having Cartman tell it. And in the responses from Kyle.

This is a really good post. Just the SP clip by itself would have been kind of meh, but the extra background makes it great. Thanks.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:02 AM on June 8, 2004

I've always thought this is fantastic, but was it ever actually aired? Pretty risky-- what, with the FCC being a bunch of shit eaters and all.
posted by Evstar at 7:05 AM on June 8, 2004

i gotta say that was meaninglessly stupid is every conceivable manner possible.
posted by MrLint at 7:07 AM on June 8, 2004

How many ADD sufferers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Let's go ride bikes!
posted by dhoyt at 7:09 AM on June 8, 2004

thanks for those versions of the clown joke. Only time I've heard it, the guy telling the joke kept quizzing everyone listening. "The boy bough x of this, y of this, z of that, now how many y did he buy?" He'd rattle off six, seven things and after the first quiz you'd keep counting numbers. Everyone got so worked up into what the boy was building to get even with the clown that the end hit left us dumbfounded. Then we rolled around on the ground laughing.

Remember kids, the clown joke (at least the above version) is best used on stoners. Freaks them out.
posted by Be'lal at 7:31 AM on June 8, 2004

That was really fucking funny. It takes me back to the first time I saw those guys in Jesus vs. Santa.
posted by callmejay at 7:34 AM on June 8, 2004

My favorite nonsensical joke I used to always tell when I was little (and, admittedly, still tell on occasion) was this one-liner:

(told in a very excitedly comedian-like way)
"What's the difference between a square?"


Another one that goes around the family: "Two men walk into a bar. Ouch Ouch."


And, of course, the best shaggy dog joke of all time came from my dad: "Bubba knows everybody". Of course, we told it a lot differently from written here... going to visit other people, making up conversations between the people, and telling the story from the vantage/inner monologue of the friend/boss at the end, rather than the overwrought (IMO) final two paragraphs.

It can be a really funny joke if you or whoever tells it can do imitations and just get in the moment. Sometimes people are disappointed by the punch line, but like the Aristocrats, it's all about the journey! ;)
posted by tittergrrl at 7:35 AM on June 8, 2004

Now I'll never be able to see this without laughing. An evilly splendid post. Thanks also for the other jokes posted here.
posted by LinusMines at 7:40 AM on June 8, 2004

The clown joke has provided me with hours of entertainment at work for years. I first heard it working the night shift at a ToysRUs over Christmas. Any time you have a crappy job working long hours doing the same thing over and over, tell this joke to a co-worker. I've often thought I should write it down and post it online somewhere. Now I don't have to.

I've heard of the Purple King joke, but nobody was ever able to tell it to me without giving up.

A child molester and a kid are walking in the forest late at night. The kid goes "Geez, it's dark. I'm scared." The child molester goes "You're scared?!! I have to walk home alone!"
posted by password at 7:43 AM on June 8, 2004

Speaking of the anti-joke, I don't know if you guys remember this old McSweeney's submission, but it never fails to make me laugh out loud.
posted by dhoyt at 7:45 AM on June 8, 2004

LittleMissCranky: Here.

And even quonsar told me not to post it!
posted by mr.marx at 7:48 AM on June 8, 2004

An AskMeFi Joke Thread
posted by tittergrrl at 7:52 AM on June 8, 2004

tittergrrl: I thought the Bubba joke was quite amusing as posted. Got an out-loud laugh, which on the internet is actually quite rare.

If your family versions are even funnier, they would be a delight to experience.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:24 AM on June 8, 2004

My favorite part of the South Park version is that Cartman heard it from his Grandpa.

That slays me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:05 AM on June 8, 2004

when i was 6 or 7 i was trying to tell a knock knock joke, which ended up being one of these nonsensical jokes, because i mixed the punchline with another knock-knock joke.

"Knock" Knock!"
- "Who's There?"
- "Amos who?"
"Amos the bathtub, I'm drowning!"

My familiy paused and laughed, i fell out of my chair with milk coming out my nose.

I also remember a variation of the "No soap. Radio" joke which i heard when i was a kid...

"A garbage truck turned a corner too fast and tipped over spliing trash everywhere. Two ducks jumped on the curb and said, radio, what radio?"
posted by bluno at 9:18 AM on June 8, 2004

The Aristocrats is all about the telling, the delivery, and the pointless embellishment along the way. It's like performance art.

Yeah, just as %90 of a magician's art is showmanship, %90 of a comedian's art is delivery. About 10 years ago I saw Whoopi Goldberg do a standup routine that consisted of a single shaggy dog story stretched out to 15 minutes. The basic shaggy dog story was not that funny, but the embelishments and distractions along the way had everyone in stitches until, finally, she dropped the punchline.

I imagine that a really good master of the art of the delivery could read out of the phone book and have people rolling.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:23 AM on June 8, 2004

I can't remember where it was, but hearing Buddy Hackett tell "The Aristocrats!" when I was a teenager was what I imagine it would have been like to receive the dharma directly from the Buddha himself: his act was so filthy, you'd think there was nothing he could do to top it. But no, as an encore, he did a ten minute version of "The Aristocrats!" that was, to this day, the funniest piece of comedy I have ever witnessed.

(FWIW, I think seeing Hackett - if you've only seen him on TV, you have no idea how foul his act was! - made me really appreciate Parker and Stone's take on it. It's the same joke, but so completely different that they make it theirs (or, rather, Cartman's... "Wanna hear a joke my grandpa told me?")
posted by JollyWanker at 9:50 AM on June 8, 2004

Hackett, Redd Foxx, etc--all those oldtime comics had incredibly dirty and hysterical's sad that they're not really preserved, or online. (or are they? I'd kill to see the midnight show from one of those guys in Vegas or something)
posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on June 8, 2004

Okay, I appreciate the humor and all, but I was grossed out.

Not saying it shouldn't have been posted here, or that there weren't enough warnings, just that's it's really disgusting. I think I've become re-sensitized as I've grown older.
posted by Loudmax at 10:45 AM on June 8, 2004

(or, rather, Cartman's... "Wanna hear a joke my grandpa told me?")

I think Buddy Hackett *IS* Cartman's grandpa.

Surely someone else sees the family resemblance?
posted by Ynoxas at 11:00 AM on June 8, 2004

Got to see Red Foxx in Vegas about 6 months before he died...Yep, filthy and also a total riot. He actually said to my exhusband "Wish I could grow a beard like that...then my last wife wouldn't have run off with a lesbian."
posted by SweetIceT at 2:35 PM on June 8, 2004

Why are you people wasting your time with this non-humor when you could be rollicking along with America's Funnyman, Neil Hamburger?
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:53 PM on June 8, 2004

Amberglow - it's possible to hear those oldschool comics (amongst others, of course) in the rotations on the comedy 'channels' in the listings at shoutcast (filter for 'comedy').
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:32 PM on June 8, 2004

really? the "blue" versions?
posted by amberglow at 5:10 PM on June 8, 2004

dhoyt - When it comes to McSweeney's and joke deconstruction, I really like this piece.
posted by Fourmyle at 6:57 PM on June 8, 2004

A classic related example: the eagles joke. [more, including the "solution"]
posted by dhartung at 10:29 PM on June 8, 2004

the "blue" versions?

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:36 PM on June 8, 2004

An AskMeFi Joke Thread

coincidentally, i posted one of my favorite anti-jokes in that thread.
posted by joedan at 10:55 PM on June 8, 2004

What's the difference between Neil Armstrong and Michael Jackson?

Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon, whereas Michael Jackson fucks little boys up the arsehole.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:35 AM on June 9, 2004

A man was driving his car through the desert in California and it kept getting too hot. The hotter it was, the slower he would drive. Soon he reached a small service station and he decided to stop and ask for help. When he pulled into the station he noticed a man standing next to a horse in the shade.

He nodded to the man with the horse and he waved back. By this time the attendant had came outside and the driver told him about his problem. After a short discussion the attendant decided that the man's slowing down was only making the problem worse.

"Don't slow down, the faster you drive the cooler your car will be." the attendant said.

"Thanks, a bunch!" said the driver. He jumped back into his car and took off down the highway, driving much faster than before.

The man with the horse had listened to the exchange and was leaning against the building thinking to himself. "Hmm. The faster you go, the cooler it gets."

Suddenly he mounted his horse and took off, encouraging the horse to go as fast as possible. About four miles down the road the horse died.

The man looked down at the dead horse and said "Well. Poor horse froze to death."
posted by bargle at 9:34 AM on June 9, 2004

Q. What's brown and sticky?

A. A stick.
posted by subgenius at 9:33 PM on June 14, 2004

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