I just watched “The Aristocrats” on video for the second time. For a movie that cost next to nothing to make, it’s extremely entertaining. It should be mandatory viewing. I have my own approach to the joke itself. I think the guy should be pitching the show to the booker in character. I do a fairly clipped, sophisticated gentleman as the act and a seen-it-all agent.

I also think the description should be fairly unemotionally delivered. Not so much deadpan but as though he’s a professional describing his professional act to another professional and has no concept of the level of shock his ideas must generate. Much of the improvised part is pilched from John Wing Jr. who first told me the joke. I also change the punchline as John did, as you’ll see. Nevertheless, I did originate a lot- in the performance in particular. To visulaize it properly picture this – when I deliver the punchline, I hold my hands in front of me stretched forward with the fingers spread like a director seeing an image and I push them apart as I say the name as though reading it in lights on a marquee.

When I had the pleasure of telling this joke to Paul Provenza (who made the movie), I started with “Stop me if you’ve heard this one.”

And now – my version:

A guy walks into a booking agents office and says:

Hello, I’d like to talk to you about booking my act.

The agent says: Ok. I’ve got a couple of minutes. What kind of act is it?

Act: Well, it’s a family act. Me and my famiily. It starts with my wife and I. We come on. I’m dressed in a tux and tails. She’s in a lovely ball gown. She’s carrying a stool. She puts the stool down at the front of the stage. I bend her over it, pull up her dress and fuck her in the ass.

Agent: you what?

Act: I fuck her in the ass. (without pause) Then the children come out. My son is 19 and a strapping young man. My daughter is 12 but, no fear, in the full flower of womanhood. My daughter is leading a donkey. While my daughter is sucking the donkey’s cock, my son is giving it an enema causing it to lose control of its bowels and cover the stage behind it with donkey shit. At this point, my wife, the donkey and myself all come (with a flourish) simultaneously! and the entire family stands behind the donkey and gathhers the shit into balls with which we pelt the audience. (looking at him, expectantly)

Agent: What do you call yourselves?

Act: The Debonaires.

END

See, I think Debonaires is funnier because it represents a behaviour and carriage while Aristocrats indicates a societal position. It’s not as logical a punchline.