THE TOURETTE'S SYNDROME OF JOKES: A year after the hoopla, I finally got around to watching The Aristocrats last night. While I enjoyed it (particular highlights for me were Paul Reiser -- for the analysis, not for the telling of the joke itself -- Billy the Mime, Murder High's Favorite Son Bob Saget, the non-Friar's Club Roast Gilbert Gottfried stuff, and Mario Cantone-as-Liza-Minnelli), I found myself sharing Chris Rock's reaction -- "uh huh, and?" Once you accept the premise that every comedian is trying to be as filthy as humanly (or inhumanly) possible, what's one more element of incest or defecation among friends? As far as breaking all taboos is concerned, I was actually expecting more in the racist / sexist / pick your Title VII violation category.
As for the famed Gilbert Gottfried sequence: I get it, I get it, I get it because I saw a preview of Noises Off mere weeks after 9/11 and witnessed firsthand the howling catharsis of laughing your ass off when everyone is in a lot of pain. But I do agree with a point Adam made -- I would have preferred to see that particular telling in its entirety, without all the back and forthing about how funny it was.
On a related note: we rented both The Aristocrats and The 40 Year Old Virgin at an actual Blockbuster store last night. This marked the first time in I don't know how long that I've walked into a Blockbuster and actually picked up a pile of movies (including the two we rented plus Syriana, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Good Night and Good Luck, Serenity, and a couple others that are escaping me) that I would have been happy to watch. At least a couple of times over the last few years, I've walked into Blockbuster and walked out emptyhanded for lack of interest in a single movie. I guess that when you stop going to the movies, eventually enough solid content piles up that even Hollywood's best efforts otherwise can't prevent me from wanting to see a movie.