Penn Jillette, I’m calling your ass out on the carpet for perpetrating the biggest hoax of the 21st century because I am so tired of hearing people excitedly explain the premise of your 2005 documentary “The Aristocrats” to their friends. It was funny at the time and I enjoyed seeing all the chatter about the film on television, especially the way that everybody, everywhere had become instant experts on the backstage society of comedians. Having Saget in the film was a masterstroke at convincing the world that the joke was real, I mean, old Bob Saget wouldn’t lie to us… would he?
So, while I know that everyone involved with the project must have had a blast, don’t you think that it’s time for the big lie to be over and for you to admit to the world that “The Aristocrats” was a sham, a hoax, a Blistered Ethel (an old Vaudeville term that I just made up)? What really gets me is that although I know that I shouldn’t be surprised at their gullibility, I can’t get over how stupid people are. How trusting. Guess we’re conditioned to believe documentaries, I used to repeat the “facts” I hear on TV all the time.
Now I just make up stuff. It’s a lot more fun.
You and I both know that the joke was never the “secret handshake” of Vaudevillians. Can you seriously picture any one of the Seven Little Foys ever telling that joke (or acting it out)? Don’t answer that. Just stand there and let me applaud you and the 100 prankish comedians who assisted you in this bit of theatrical chicanery. This will forever remain one of your best tricks, masterfully executed on all of the idiots I keep running into at parties.
Oh, and I want back the money that I paid to see the movie (since it was about a fake inside-joke). If not my money then something of equal value, like a beer. Preferably without giant centipedes swimming in it.
4 thoughts on “Penn Jillette’s Biggest Trick”
I love what you wrote!
Where do you get your information?
Happy New Year Brother!
Producer of The Aristocrats
We used to keep a baggy pants comic in the attic until he stopped bathing…. Happy New Year back at you! Sorry I had to spoil the secret. Now all four of the people who read my stuff will know….. ;)
You realize the joke is documented in Legman’s book, which was printed in ’69. You don’t think Penn actually just told everyone the joke for the movie, do you?
Before the movie came out I wouldn’t have known Gershon Legman if he’d shat on his harpsicord-playing handicapped sister right in front of me. While the joke itself may be old, I can’t help but suspect that Penn did indeed create the “legend” around it and feed it to the host of comedians who star in the film and will continue to enjoy believing that America, no, the World, has had its collective underwear yanked firmly into its buttcrack. Nobody (besides you guys, whoever you are) is going to read this post anyway so my allegation of “Penn’s Secret Plan” is probably safe, unless somebody Farks it or Diggs it or whatever they’re doing these days. Hrmm, you know Penn would be good in one of the parts in my screenplay….