"The Aristocrats"

from Gershon Legman's
"Rationale Of The Dirty Joke, An Analysis Of Sexual Humor
Series Two: No Laughing Matter"


Amy Lynn, Jackie "Penthouse Joke Page" Martling,
Barbara, Tempest, and Malika Kinison Borghese
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from Page 987...

One cannot fail to observe the intrusion of the children in these disaster scenes, since there is really no story without them. One can endure, perhaps, the explosion of the outside world. But when one's inner island or jealously dark-held tower...home, family, cave-in-the-woods, or what have you?...is collapsing as well, and in a particularly scataphoric way; then everything has really gone to smash. Like the jokes of the first chapter in the First Series here, on "Children," these jokes are the revenge of the child who has grown up, and can now tell his own stories. The final and pointed indictment puts the finger on the purulent seat of the disease: lying and cruelty to children, and their abnormalization to suit the parents' and society's sick needs.


with Sam Kinison and Alan Stephen
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No story has been encountered, in the thirty-five or more years of this research, that makes this point so absolutely frankly, yet with what worlds of unspoken sardonic criticism, as the following:

A vaudeville performer is describing his act to a skeptical booking agent. "It's very simple. My wife and I shit on the stage, and then the kids come out and wallow in it." Agent, thunderstruck: "What kind of an act do you call that?" Vaudevillian, polishing his fingernails on his lapel: "We call it...'The Aristocrats'!"

This was told, as his favorite joke, by a young man whose parents lived a hideous life of continuous fighting and screaming at each other, but who would not consider divorce. They were 'keeping the home together for the sake of the children.'

Gershon Legman
Spring 1934- Winter 1975

That comes and goes as my favorite joke.

I've been penpals with Legman since I blindly wrote to the address in Valbonnes, France, given at the end of the preface of this book, desperately trying to locate a copy of Series One.

He immediately wrote back, and sold me one of his two copies. It actually has his corrections in it for the second printing.


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Over the years we have exchanged all kinds of jokes and joke garbage. He of course has distributed my crap throughout the South of France. If you see a hot babe in an "I Stumped Jackie The Joke Man" tank top on The Riviera, ask her if she knows Legman.

He is now very old and frail, and I hope he is well as I write this. His name is legendary, and rightly so, in dirty joke circles.

Imagine my glee to find another nut, and a brilliant one,
who does a lot of the same crap as me...