Raunchy ‘Aristocrats' Finds Home on DVD20 Dec, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf
The Aristocrats is not for the squeamish or easily offended.
The raunchy documentary is the brainchild of comedians Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. It hits DVD Jan. 24 from ThinkFilm via Lionsgate Home Entertainment and will get a special theatrical run in select cities the night before.
Last week, Provenza, Jillette and some comedians featured in the film gathered in Hollywood for a screening and Q&A session. That session will be shown with the film's special theatrical airing next month.
To make the film, Provenza and Jillett cornered as many comedians as they could round up. George Carlin, Paul Reiser, Drew Carey, Robin Williams, Gilbert Gottfried and others talk about the history and legacy of the world's dirtiest joke, one that has long been an “inside” joke in the comic community.
There were no limits to the kind and amount of raunchy, sexual, scatological and bestial content comedians who participated in The Aristocrats could use in their telling of or talking about the joke, Provenza and Jillette said.
While that was ideal for the movie, it also meant no chance of a rating other than ‘NC-17.' (They didn't even bother submitting it to the Motion Picture Association of America board.) It also meant little chance of the film ever seeing the light of day, Jillette admitted.
“We took it to a lot of major distributors who said ‘we can't touch this with a 10-foot pole,” Provenza said. “They loved it, for the most part, and they would say, ‘We'll put it out on DVD, but we don't want to put it in theaters.’
The Aristocrats had a short theatrical run, earning $6.3 million. But DVD is where the film will find a home, creators said.Aristocrat-ic comedians (L-R) Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, Paul Provenza, Penn Jillette, Jason Alexander and Bob Saget at the recent Q&A.