The Aristocrats

From Academic Kids

The Aristocrats (also known as The Debonaires in England) is a joke which has been told by numerous stand-up comedians since Vaudeville, and often only among an audience of other comedians. It has been referred to as "The world's funniest joke" and "the world's worst joke." It may be either depending on who's telling it, who's listening and the innumerable variations upon the theme. It has probably never been told the same way twice.

The joke is something of a game in which the participant or participants try to top each other in terms of shock value. Throughout the history of the joke it has evolved from a cliche staple of the Vaudvilleian comedian into a postmodern anti-joke.

A documentary called The Aristocrats, co-produced by Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, directed by Paul Provenza, and edited by Emery Emery and Paul Provenza; the film premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The creators developed the film based on hours of digital video they took over several years of comedians talking about and telling their versions of the joke.

It includes the unaired portion of Gilbert Gottfried's telling of a version of the joke at a Comedy Central/Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner held (with a mixture of reluctance and defiance) less than three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The joke

The joke has three parts:

  1. The setup: the joke always begins with a "family act" going in to see a talent agent. There are always the parents "mom & dad" and usually a son, daughter and dog. Sometimes there is a baby in lieu of the dog or one of the "older" kids.
  2. The act is described. By tradition, the description is crude, tasteless, often ribald, often scatological, and as beyond the boundaries of propriety as the comedian can muster. Incest and beastiality are common themes in many versions.
  3. The punchline: the agent asks what this act is called, and the answer is always the same: "The Aristocrats!" In modern tellings this may not actually be a punchline, just an ending.

Here is an example of an old-timey Aristocrats joke:

A family walks into a talent agency. It's a father, mother, teenage daughter and dog. The dog has a little dog tutu on -- and a pointy clown hat. The father says to the talent agent, "We have a really great act. We'd like you to represent us."

The agent says, "Sorry, I don't represent family acts. They're a little too old-fashioned."

The mother says, "If you would please see our act, we know you would like us."

The agent says, "Okay, let me see what you do."

The father hoists his wife and daughter up -- one on each shoulder -- the daughter farts on the way up. The agent sees that the wife's panties have a rusty-colored stain. The dog obediently runs out and sits in front of the human pyramid, in the centre of the line.

The dad says, "On the count of three -- one, two... three!"

The daughter and mom begin singing "On the Good Ship Lollypop."

"On the gooood ship lol-EE-pop..."

And as the family sing together, the clown dog does a little dance on its hind legs. The agent sees a little glistening bubblegum-colored phallus on the dog.

"'s a sweeeet trip to the can-DEE shop... ... where bob-bons play..."

The dog poops on the floor in front of the agent's desk.

"... on the sunny beach of peppermint bay..."

The mom & daughter somersault off the dad's shoulders -- he acidentally belches and poops his pants from the heavy lifting.

"Lemonade stands, everywhere crackerjack bands, fill the air and there you are, happy landings on a chocolate bar..."

The daughter slips on the dog poop and lands on her back on the agent's desk with her dress over the agent's head. She then farts. The dog takes a pee on the agent's desk.

The mom & dad continue singing:

"See the sugar bowl do a tootsie roll in a big bad devils food cake, if you eat too much... oh, oh, you'll awake, with a tummy ache."

The agent decides to perform cunnilingus on the girl since his head is up her dress. He can't help himself.

" On the good ship lollipop its a nice trip, in to bed you hop, and dream away, on the good ship lollipop."

Seeing the agent do this turns on the mom & dad. Dad continues singing while mom puts his penis into her mouth and bobs up and down on it. The dog is under the agent's desk -- humping his leg.

Eventually the daughter comes on the agent's face, the dog comes on the agent's leg and the dad comes in the mother's mouth. The agent has masturbated to completion.

The agent just sits in silence for a long time. Finally, he manages, "That's a hell of an act. What do you call yourselves?"

And the father says, "The Aristocrats!"

Bob Sagat

A recent article in The New York Observer ( discussed Bob Sagat's appearance in The Aristocrats (, and his version of the famous dirty joke. The following is an excerpt:

In comedy circles, there’s a famous Saget story about the night his first daughter was born. After a very difficult birth, during which Sherri Saget and her baby almost died, a friend showed up to find Mr. Saget looking utterly destroyed, unshaven, unrecognizable, but holding his newborn.</p> “Oh my God, Bob, she’s beautiful,” the friend said. </p> “For a dollar, you can finger her,” Mr. Saget replied.</p> “This story continually comes back to me,” he said, groaning. “Oh boy, I was a wreck, and I was just operating on whatever sick mode I’m always in anyway. I don’t remember, but I don’t think a dollar is enough money for something that crosses the line that much. I would have said $5. </p>

The rest of the article is available here (

External links and sources


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools