Virgil Films to release “Truly Tasteless Jokes” documentary in August 2019

Virgil Films has acquired a documentary about the best-selling Truly Tasteless Jokes books from the 1980s. The film, Tasteless, from comedians Jeff Cerulli and Matt Ritter, will come out next month.

Cerulli previously directed a documentary about competitive eaters, Hungry. Ritter interviewed me for a podcast some years ago that I don’t think ever released? Stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s the trailer!

Back in the 1980s, a series of controversial books aptly titled Truly Tasteless Jokes swept the nation with their crude, controversial and oft-hilarious zingers. With comedy that pushed the boundaries of racism and gender, the Truly Tasteless books are a testament to how comedic culture has transformed over time. In the documentary Tasteless—created by comedians and filmmakers Jeff Cerulli and Matt Ritter—the film explores the evolution of comedy through the lens of the iconic Truly Tasteless books. Tasteless examines how the series author, Ashton Applewhite, went from a crude joke author to a feminist activist; how comedy has evolved since the 1980s, and how the dirty jokes of our past stand in today’s social climate. Including an exclusive interview with Applewhite as well as popular comedians Mark Normand (Conan), Dan Soder (Billions) & Helen Hong (Inside Llewyn Davis); Tasteless is a funny, raw look into how humor—and our perception of humor—evolves. 

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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