Thursday, August 11, 2005

NYC Day 2: Margaritas, filthy jokes, and fake lesbians

Got up very late today. I realize now that while working a bunch of overtime right before a vacation provides funds to purchase a wonderful camera, it also leaves one exhausted during said vacation. Oh well.

Went downtown for some Mexican food with my great friend and host Brad. I know it's a bit silly to be in NYC and go out for Mexican when I live in Texas, but Brad was craving it and I have to admit that the strawberry margaritas were incredible. Already tipsy, we bought a Sparks* and went to see "The Aristocrats".

Conceived by comedian Paul Provenza and magician Penn Jilette, it is a feature-length film about one joke, but oh what a joke. It's actually rather lame in set-up and punchline, but the magic comes in the middle section where the teller is free to improvise, the more obscene and vile the better. The comedians in the film by turns tell their own version and dissect it, getting at the heart of why it's lasted so long as a right-of-passage for comics.

Aside from the sheer gall of the comics, what I am most impressed by is the editing. Emery Emery and Paul Provenza have taken a huge amount of footage (amateurishly shot and unevenly lit) and constructed it into a cohesive film. Every time it starts to get bogged down by the umpteenth telling of the joke, they move on to someone who provides a new context or insight into the nature of humor. Really great pacing.

After the movie, we went to a bar that coincidentally had an exhibit of Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) art.

Devo hat postcard

Two other examples here and here.

At the bar we proceeded to drink more and hang out with people we did not know. They were okay until the girls started making out as a birthday present for one of the guys. Sigh. I offered that the guys should then make out for the girls but only Brad laughed. Soon after we headed home.

* In case you were wondering, Sparks tastes like Nerds candy and keeps you buzzed quite nicely.

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