“A guy walks into a talent agent’s office….”
That’s how the joke starts. The rest, except for the punchline, is up to the all-star cast of comedians to decide. And even the punchline can be played with. George Carlin explains the artistry of the joke, how comedians can put their individuality into it so easily because of the open context. Paul Reiser discusses how it is a chance to be as vile as humanly possible, and how you can put the most awful, disgusting images into the joke, and none of them are wrong. And the comics do put the most disgusting images they can dream up into their versions of the dirtiest joke in history.
As I had heard, Bob Saget’s version was the most impressive, if you can call it that. It was certainly the longest, and the most shocking, considering he was Danny Tanner on Full House. Gilbert Gottfried told the joke at a Friar’s Club Roast and brought down the house. Not surprisingly, Lewis Black’s version was politically fueled. The writers of The Onion brought Jesus into it. Drew Carey added a nice little hand gesture (not what you’re thinking, I’m sure). Richard Lewis complained the whole time. And Jon Stewart gets the last word.
Overall, as shocking as some of the versions were, I can’t remember the specifics less than 24 hours later. Of course remember the general gist of the joke, but the specific versions each comedian told are gone out of my memory. I enjoyed the movie not so much for the different tellings of the joke, because the joke itself is pretty much crap. But I enjoyed it because it was a chance to watch comedians laugh at each other, and at themselves. Bob Saget loses it several times through his telling. As does Kevin Pollak (who does an amazing impression of Christopher Walken for his version of the joke).
That being said, there were some comedians left out that the group I went with decided should have been included. My personal favorites: Daniel Tosh, and Maria Bamford. Another suggested Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke telling the joke together. And yet another suggestion, was the incredible Stephen Lynch. Perhaps for the DVD there will be new footage shot to expand upon the collection of comedians. We can only hope.
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