Retro humor? Vintage humor? Stale humor? Caryn James in the New York Times acknowledges that "The Aristocrats" is funny and well-marketed, but adds that it’s not nearly as taboo-busting as its PR people would have you believe.
The AMC chain of theaters may have refused to show the film, but that timid, commercial decision says less about the movie than it does about a social atmosphere in which the F.C.C. is clamping down on television and radio, and conservative lobbies wield enormous influence.
The idea of telling a shocking joke itself is somewhat nostalgic, James points out â€” vulgarity hasn’t made for cutting edge humor for years now. She finds television the place to go for entertainment industry insider humor, giving nods to "Entourage," Ricky Gervais’ "Extras" and our very own dear drab cubicle farm, IFC, with two of our new series, "Hopeless Pictures" and "The Festival."
Allan Johnson at the Chicago Tribune revisits AMC theater’s refusal to carry the film (which seems to be working out well for the film, publicity-wise) and talks to some of the comedians who appear in the film about what it all means. It’s nothing they haven’t said elsewhere â€” more interesting is this sidebar, in which Bob Saget talks about how appearing in the film (and telling a particularly disgusting version of the joke) has freed his from ever having to reprise, or work on anything vaguely resembling, his role of Danny Tanner, Wholesome Dadâ„¢, on "Full House": "I could never deliver lines like that ever again. I’m not made that way."
And New York magazine has a selection of opinions of audience members on the way out of a screening of the film. Our favorite:
J. J. Huckitt, 30, Actor
I was sort of disappointed that Robin Williams didn’t do his version. But it was funny. It makes me want to go home and fuck my cat.
+ Outmoded Showbiz vs. Insider Attitude (NY Times)
+ #%@! (Chicago Tribune)
+ Saget has had his fill of ‘House’ (Chicago Tribune)
+ Overheard: What the Audience Really Thought about ‘The Aristocrats’ (New York)