Whoop Blog


Many professions have something its professionals do to impress one another. This isn't true anywhere more than the variety arts. People who have mastered the art of the marionette make figures that can do a strip tease. Magicians perform the famed "Ambitious Card" routine. An particularly effective piece of magic where a signed card is placed in the middle of a deck of cards only to reappear on the top of the deck. Each magician has his own method of performing the trick. Comedians have something like this too. It's this one joke.

One joke, that if done right, is so vile and despicable that you would never perform in on a stage. Also: it's not very funny. Its delivery can be spectacular and just like the "Ambitious Card" every comic who performs this joke has his/her own unique way of telling it. But, despite its potential for hilarity it is in its most basic form a "Why did the chicken cross the road?" level joke. Did I mention that you wold never perform this joke on a stage? 

Cut to: Me on a stage. 
I am performing at the famed Pier 39 Center Stage in San Francisco. I have gathered a crowd of men, women, and children. About two hundred of them. Enough that I've had to ask the children to sit in front of the stage and for the sake of drama I also helped a pregnant Mennonite woman to her seat on one of the benches facing the stage. I'm about 15 minutes into my show and it's going okay. I'm not a great street performer but I've done well enough to keep their attention so far.

Cut to: The Blue Angels stunt jet fighters in formation thundering across the San Francisco Bay. 

Cut to: My entire audience shifting focus from me to the jets flying directly overhead. Also: some close ups of several eardrums bursting. 

Cut to: Me on a stage. I am trying my best to keep their attention even though I know they can't hear me. I launch into an extended monologue and gesture wildly.Finally the jets pass and two hundred expectant faces return to me as I finish the joke, becoming audible for the first time in minutes. "It's called..."  I said, pausing to let them know the punchline was coming, "...the Aristocrats!" 

Cut to: Two hundred blank faces. 
The joke shares a name with it's punchline: "The Aristocrats" and it's the most vile joke I've ever heard. I've told the most disgusting and aberrant joke and no one was any wiser. And that's the story of the best joke I never told. If you'd like to learn more about "The Aristocrats" or maybe hear the joke; Penn Jillette put together an incredible documentary about it. It's titled "The Aristocrats".