Download A Conservative Walks Into a Bar: The Politics of Political by Alison Dagnes (auth.) PDF

By Alison Dagnes (auth.)

This publication examines why there are so few conservative political satirists this day and explores the implications of this imbalance.

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Extra info for A Conservative Walks Into a Bar: The Politics of Political Humor

Example text

He used the example of former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who was caught in a political sex scandal in 2009: Most comedians don’t know that much about Mark Sanford and I should say, actually most audiences don’t. So, if I am doing a Mark Sanford joke I have to introduce to my audience who Mark Sanford is, even at the height of it, sadly. But, if I want to do a Lindsay Lohan joke, everybody knows what is going on with her life, so you don’t have to (Dominick 2010). Who Brings the Funny?

According to Steps cofounder Elaina Newport, the audience has to have enough understanding for a joke to land successfully: “So you can do a George Bush malapropisms joke or an Al Gore being stiff joke, but you couldn’t do an Al Gore malapropism joke . . ” Newport went on: “I dread primary season because, you know, if [the candidates] don’t have a clear cut persona they are really hard. People don’t really know at least one thing about them” (Newport 2010). SNL’s Alex Baze agreed: I always say if they have to have a lot to hang your hat on, which to me means what does the average American or the average audience member know about them, and then that is kind of 16 ● A Conservative Walks Into a Bar up to the media at large.

24 ● A Conservative Walks Into a Bar Consequently, there are very few purely satirical outlets in popular culture today. Most pure satire is blended in with other forms of political humor because satire is a fairly specific thing. Explained SNL’s Alex Baze: “I take a very strict literary definition of satire which basically means that you are taking on the point of view of the person you disagree with in order to demonstrate how ridiculous that point of view is” (Baze 2010). Conan ’s Brian Stack concurred: “I think a lot of times the satirist .

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