Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2005. Mighty Cheese Productions. Produced by Peter Adam Golden. Music by Gary Stockdale. Film Editing by Emery Emery, Paul Provenza. New York Film Critics Awards 2005. Online Film Critics Awards 2005.
Paul Provenza interviews dozens of comedians about a famous joke, loved among comedians, that provides a sort of jazzy opportunity for performers to really shine. Each interview subject gives their own take on the anecdote, allowing for much variation in its interpretation before the purposely anticlimactic punch line. What’s most shocking, after you get through the incredible stream of cuss words and vile descriptions of bodily functions, is how very unfunny the joke really is…of course, that’s part of its charm (and purpose). Although somewhat tedious to sit through, this film does have its uptempo moments, such as Mario Cantone‘s interpretation of Liza Minnelli telling the joke, Sarah Silverman‘s “autobiographical” version and scenes with comedians like Phyllis Diller, Bob Saget, Taylor Negron and Judy Gold.