Nevada City, CA — Hoping to make his mark as a stand-up comedian, Darrell Gandy performed at a local café’s open mic night last Tuesday to a small crowd. Gandy’s schtick is based on a single premise: All his jokes end with the punchline, “The Aristocrats!”
“I have a shit-ton of really good jokes, some that I wrote myself,” he said. “They need a little more work, and once I iron out my timing, watch out!—I’ll be ready for The Improv!”
“My act is based on a joke which is the platinum standard of comedy. It’s got the best punchline, gets the biggest laughs, so I use it for every joke.”
In the original joke, explained Gandy, a comic improvises a scene about a family that auditions for a theatrical agent. Their act is disgusting beyond belief and involves perverse sex acts and actual bodily functions. When the shell-shocked agent asks, “What do you call your act?” the father says loudly and proudly, “The Aristocrats!” Hundreds of stand-up comedians have told their own variation of this joke for decades.
Gandy himself never tells the actual Aristocrats joke in his act. “It’s too offensive,” he says, “you never know who’s in your audience and I don’t want to be known for dirty stand-up. I could never look my deacon in the eye again.”
Gandy Has His Heroes
Gandy has wanted to be a comedian ever since he saw live comedy at county fairs in eastern Kansas where he lived in his teens. “It was Jeff Dunham and Dennis Miller…, Man, I loved those guys! They made me who I am today.”
The audience at the café seemed mildly appreciative of Gandy’s efforts. While no loud guffaws were heard, there was some scattered, uncomfortable laughter when the audience caught on to the pattern of Gandy’s act
Gandy saved his best jokes for last in his twenty-minute spiel:
“How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? ‘The Aristocrats!’”
“A neutron walks into a bar. “How much for a beer?” he asks the bartender. The bartender says, “For you, ‘The Aristocrats!’”
“My dog has no nose!” “How does it smell?” “The Aristocrats!”
When the audience doesn’t laugh, he just keeps on going. “It’s important not to skip a beat or let the audience see your flop sweat,” he says.
“It wasn’t one of my best nights,” confessed Gandy. “The jokes need a little more work, but ‘the Aristocrats’ punchline is always pure comedy gold.”