A new conspiracy theory posits that Penn Jillette himself invented the Aristocrats joke, and convinced the world that it “has been with comics [for a long time]. [It] is a joke that is never told in public, a private joke for comedians, so you’ve never heard it before.” I’ve searched high and low for any reference to it, but everything seems to be related to the movie. Wikipedia says that in England the joke is called “The Debonaires,” but I can’t find proof of that, either. Andy Baio of Waxy.com says the earliest he can find is in a book by Jackie Martling in 1998 – far short of actually proving a pre-Penn existence. It seems to me that even an in-joke would have appeared in some form, somewhere before this. Are these guys faking a joke on the entire world? Maybe that is the real joke. Anyone know differently?