I see most movies long after everyone else does. Last night The Aristocrats came up on one of the movie channels; I’d been meaning to see it for some time now, but an indie documentary about the world’s dirtiest joke isn’t the sort of movie that ends up at the O’Brien Theatre or at the local video store, and it seemed a little too slight to buy — I didn’t necessarily want to own it, but I wanted to see it. So I was glad of the opportunity. My impression? A low-budget film showing comedians dissecting the joke’s format. Dull in places, hilarious in others. My major disappointment was that they did not show Gilbert Gottfried’s 2001 Friar’s Club performance of it — a performance now considered the definitive version — in its entirety: what I saw of him left me gasping.
Many standup comics stay in-character in all their public appearances. In some cases, it’s simply an exaggerated, if recognizable, version of themselves; in others, the persona they inhabit on-stage might have very little to do with their own personality — I believe this was the case with Andrew Dice Clay.
In that context, it’s interesting to see this footage of the early standup career of Dan Whitney:
Who’s Dan Whitney, you ask? You may know him as Larry the Cable Guy.
Some quick notes on our favourite musical comedy act, the Arrogant Worms:
- Have I mentioned that I think that their latest album, Toast, is their strongest in years? I didn’t think much of Idiot Road, and Gift Wrapped and Semi-Conducted didn’t have much in the way of new material, so I’m glad to see them back in form. Also, their live stuff is always much more fun to listen to.
- The DVD of their televised concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, with, natch, orchestrated versions of their ditties — it was televised on Bravo a couple of years ago and it’s the basis of Semi-Conducted — is now available. Our copy arrived earlier this week. The DVD seems a little rough around the edges, a little unfinished, but, like their concerts, is plenty fun watching.
- If you’re a fan, too (say, you’ve arrived at this blog entry via Google), join us on the Arrogant Worms tribe, won’t you?