Sure, Man on Wire deserved the hell out of last month's Best Documentary Oscar, but we as a nation still have many a reality-film inroad to pave. Let us not forget the criminally overlooked, Academy-snubbed 2005 docu-gem The Aristocrats, in which Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette cajoled dozens of dirty-minded comedians into interpreting the titillating titular narrative as his or her own. And just like the nutty Frenchman at Wire's perfectly balanced center, Billy the Mime stole the show. The Jimmy Kimmel Show and comedy-festival vet (and past L.A. Weekly Theater Award winner) opted to forgo lewd language, instead wordlessly and mesmerizingly mimicking an equally disturbing version that began with a cordial opening handshake and culminated in the anal violation of the fictitious family dog. In stark contrast to the esteemed likes of George Carlin, Pat Cooper, Don Rickles and Chris Rock, Billy the Mime spoke volumes without saying a single thing. Sans makeup, the man otherwise known as Steven Banks serves as a SpongeBob SquarePants writer, but this weekend he'll re-apply the whiteface for one show only. With a repertoire including such classics as "Dreams of a Young Crippled Boy," "Rape and Revenge," "Columbine: School's Out" and "A Hurricane Called Katrina," he ain't subtle, but he's certainly in a category of his own.
Fri., March 6, 2009