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The book studies the intersections between satirical comedy and national politics in order to show that one of the strongest supports for our democracy today comes from those of us who are seriously joking. This book shows how we got to this place and why satire may be the only way we can save our democracy and strengthen our nation.
Is the comedy of Stephen Colbert simply fun or is it powerful political satire? Does it entertain viewers or does it empower them? Or does it teach us that in today's media-saturated world those binaries make no sense? Colbert's America claims that Colbert's satire fosters critical thinking about social issues, encourages active citizenship, and entertains the viewer - all at the same time. The first book to cover the various themes and features of The Colbert Report, Colbert's America offers readers insight into the powerful ways that Colbert's comedy challenges the cult of ignorance that has threatened meaningful public debate and social dialogue since 9/11.
A Decade of Dark Humor analyzes ways in which popular and visual culture used humor-in a variety of forms-to confront the attacks of September 11, 2001 and, more specifically, the aftermath. This interdisciplinary volume brings together scholars from four countries to discuss the impact of humor and irony on both media discourse and tangible political reality. Furthermore, it demonstrates that laughter is simultaneously an avenue through which social issues are deferred or obfuscated, a way in which neoliberal or neoconservative rhetoric is challenged, and a means of forming alternative political ideologies. The volume's contributors cover a broad range of media productions, including news parodies (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Onion), TV roundtable shows (Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), comic strips and cartoons (Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks, Jeff Danzinger’s editorial cartoons), television drama (Rescue Me), animated satire (South Park), graphic novels (Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers), documentary (Fahrenheit 9/11), and other productions. Along with examining the rhetorical methods and aesthetic techniques of these productions, the essays place each in specific political and journalistic contexts, showing how corporations, news outlets, and political institutions responded to-and sometimes co-opted-these forms of humor.
In an age when Jon Stewart frequently tops lists of most-trusted newscasters, the films of Michael Moore become a dominant topic of political campaign analysis, and activists adopt ironic, fake personas to attract attention -- the satiric register has attained renewed and urgent prominence in political discourse. Amber Day focuses on the parodist news show, the satiric documentary, and ironic activism to examine the techniques of performance across media, highlighting their shared objective of bypassing standard media outlets and the highly choreographed nature of current political debate.
This work examines what happens when comedy becomes political, and politics become funny. A series of original essays focus on a range of programmes, from 'The Daily Show' to 'South Park'.
Introduction: Who Brings the Funny? Data, Experiments & Proof Mirroring the Political Climate: Satire in History Art and Profession Being Funny & Being Right, Being Left & Being Right Conclusions.
Throughout American history, satire has attracted the country's best writers. From Ben Franklin's cutting satiric attacks on British policy toward the American colonies to Mark Twain's "American Abroad" to Art Buchwald's "Pictures From Vietnam", this collection entertains while it informs, providing an excellent overview of American satirical prose and poetry. 468 pp

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