Back in March, I posted a bit about The Aristocrats (current reviews by Edelstein and Zacharek - go look) - and now the link I gave to the South Park version (told by Cartman, of course) doesn't work. Too bad. It was tremendous.
And it's not that the joke, itself, is so fucking funny - it's the extremity it goes to, and even now, without recalling the details, it breaks me up. I, myself, want to top a version.
It seems to me somehow appropriate to talk about this horrendously dirty joke after talking about Pynchon, because he goes to similar extremes - and sometimes to similar effect - in his books. The freeway pile-up of perversions in some of his sequences certainly rivals The Joke.- he dares you to laugh at them, then to take them straight, and then he shovels on another load, until you buckle, and only then, when you've been thoroughly softened up, does he needle in the larger insanities, the fetid history. Makes you laugh, then scares the shit out of you.
Sorry to clue our social conservatives in on this, but it's an ancient tradition; it's no mere conceit that it's a lost Aristotelian treatise on Comedy that is the motive for murder in Eco's The Name of the Rose. Comedy is intrinsically subversive, and The Powers hate that.
[Update: Thanks to Majikthise for this link - it's Cartman - she's right - not work-safe, and it gets right to business - and I had forgotten the 9/11 detail.....]