Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, August 27:
Jeff Cerulli and Matt Ritter
White Light City Film Festival 2018
Indy, Big Muddy, Tampa Bay Underground
A look at the evolution of comedy through the lens of a controversial joke book series.
In the 1980s, TRULY TASTELESS JOKES, a series of controversial paperbacks became unexpected bestsellers. Full of puerile, crude humor, these humor books lived up to their name, presenting off-color comedy with no limits, with jokes targeting pretty much everyone – women, men, babies, the disabled, gays, and different religious and ethnic groups. Credited at publication to “Blanche Knott,” the books were authored by a young woman named Ashton Applewhite, who, at the time was struggling to make ends meet in an entry-level book publishing position. Here, Applewhite, now a feminist activist, looks back on the origins and surprise popularity of the series, while several comedians reminisce on their impact and discuss how the boundaries of “acceptable” humor have changed since the TASTELESS books’ emergence. While occasionally funny, the film covers fairly well-worn territory in its consideration of outrage culture, and is limited by a mid-length running time and talking heads-heavy visual approach, only occasionally spruced up with some animation.