[$] The Aristocrats,and Dice

The funniest punch line to a movie review in 2005 goes to Roger Ebert for his summary paragraph of Penn Gillette's new Movie "The Aristocrats":
“The Aristocrats” might have made a nice short subject. At 87 minutes, it's like the boozy salesman who corners you with the Pinocchio torture. I am left with three observations. (1) If Buddy Hackett were still alive, he could have told it better than Gilbert Gottfried. (2) Whatever happened to Andrew Dice Clay? (3) The punch line stinks. These are better:

“The Brothers Two.”
“The Mellow Tones.”
“Penn and Teller.”
FWIW, I can tell you what happened to Andrew Dice Clay. The Diceman is an entertainment outcast. When he came out with "The Day the Laughter Died", he crossed a boundary that people who want to stay employed in entertainment should never cross: he made the audience the joke.

Frankly, his audience deserved to be the object of jokes because most of them didn't get his real schtick anyway -- they actually thought that the dirty nursery rhymes and the misogyny was funny, when what was funny was the "Diceman" character. But even other comedians didn't get Dice.

Here's an example -- in the early 90's (like '91) -- I saw Gilbert Godfrey live in Rochester NY. He was funny -- but his closer was a goof on Dice. He put on a Brooklyn accent and started muttering incoherently, and then he punctuated his sentences with f-bombs. Some people in the audience thought it was funny, but I admit I didn't "get" Godfrey's joke. Did he think Andrew Clay was Dice? Was he spoofing raw comedy? However, it was clear that Godfrey thought Dice's act was contemptible, so much so that it wasn't even worth a decent parody.

So that's where Dice went: he alienated his audience by spoofing their own love of his first-round schtick, and it gained him the contempt of both his audience and other comedians. Which is extraordinarily funny in the context of "The Aristocrats" because the joke is that form matters over content -- and the Diceman demonstrated that when Penn Gillette and his sidekick Teller were doing gross body-piercing comedy. Nice of you to drop by.

Oh yeah -- notice the new feedburner counter for each post. Pretty cool, yes? UPDATED: The feedburner counter LOOKS cool, but it doesn't work very well. I'm tweeking it; it's in the sidebar now.