April 24, 2006


Ahh, nothing provides such amusing blog fodder as the imminent approach of finals. Last night, after finishing enough corporations studying to make me wish we just didn't bother to grant 'em any status at all, E and I watched The Aristocrats.

I could even partially justify it as school-related (yeah right) -- It was in keeping with the First Amendment theme.

But, it was a great movie. I've been thinking about it ever since I saw it. I was slightly upset to realize that it made me think more than I cared to about the nature of speech, comedy, humor, what makes something offensive, whether and how offensiveness harms the listner, how laughter/comedy is often inextricably linked to crossing this line of offensiveness, and finally, how I obviously buy into the value judgment that laughter is cathartic, good, and a healing force in society. Sounds like one of the annoying people in my con law II class on call, my brain does...

Thankfully, it also made me think quite a bit about comedians, their world, and how little I know about it. First of all, up close, without makeup -- damn, it's obvious that them kids live some hard lives (chemically speaking). Indulgence aside, it's always odd to realize that someone somewhere in society does a job that I may utilize on occasion but don't generally encounter. And yet, that's their every-day job. They support themselves and/or their families by doing these things. If I had thought about it, their life could have been mine. It still could be. It's a choice that everyone could choose.

Okay, in fairness, I probably couldn't choose it for the long haul. I'd fail. I'm much too introspective, concerned about propriety, uptight, and all sorts of other crap that would make me a bad comic. But it's still an option I could try to pursue despite my obvious inadequacies. The world is full of options and wacky jobs. It's overwhelming. I could be a voiceover artist. I could be a film censor. I could be a safety testor for toys. Someone has to do all of these things. Why not me? Why didn't I try to pursue any of those paths?

Anyways, if you want to laugh, I recommend watching The Aristocrats. If you aren't so big on laughing, but really enjoy thinking, I recommend the movie to you too. Finally, if you want to understand more about the inside world of comedians, or you just like Penn Jillette and his cohorts, I recommend the movie. And really finally, if I haven't sold it yet: it's worth the price of rental simply to see Gilbert Gottfried's Rendition of the joke and Bog Saget telling his version which shows that in real life, he's much more half baked than full house.

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