Posts tagged as political comedy

Why Does Every "Conservative 'Daily Show'" Fail?

Few would disagree that we're in living in a golden age of political comedy — or at least that politics are more important to comedy today than ever before. When historians write about humor in the early twenty-first century, the names of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher will definitely be key players. And just as noteworthy will be the fact that a large majority of this humor has come at the expense of conservatives, and often to the benefit of liberals.

No matter if you’re on the left or right, pretty much everyone agrees that liberals dominate political satire and humorous commentary (at least in popularity), but [...]

The Rope-Throwin' Political Comedy of Will Rogers

There has never been a comedian with as much political influence and esteem as Will Rogers. If Jon Stewart was one of the most popular movie stars in the country you’d be getting close, but only kinda — and you’d still need to add a bunch of rope tricks. Remember Stephen Colbert’s campaign? Will got there first, and he was drafted into his campaign. Plus he actually received a few votes at the convention. Twice.

Rogers was as full of contradictions as America itself. He was a Cowboy and an Indian. He had a country voice loaded with urban slang. He rose to stardom telling jokes with a chorus [...]

Seba Smith and the Birth of American Political Satire

Ever since George Washington laughed at himself while attending a farce by the “father” of American theatre William Dunlap, comedians have been knocking down presidents just as fast as the electorate can set them up. Political satire may be the best example of what freedom of speech is good for: it's dangerous, persuasive, and brings the mighty low, just the sort of thing a democracy needs to keep things fresh. Best of all, comedy can reach across party lines and far beyond the self-absorbed circle jerk of political insiders. One good SNL sketch will change more minds than a thousand policy briefs and think tank reports.

Perhaps the first breakout [...]

The Least Alienating Political Comedian, Unless You're the Current Italian Government

Parma, Italy: the birthplace of Parmesan cheese and the modern Italian’s “Stalingrad.” For those of you non-history buffs, Stalingrad was a bloody, drawn-out battle in which the Soviets ultimately staved off the Nazi army leading to a turning point in World War II. To those of you actual history buffs, I apologize for my utterly reductive explanation of this historic battle. This name was more recently evoked by one of Italy’s most famous comedians, Beppe Grillo, in reference to a rather landmark mayoral elections in Parma, Italy. While the European economy may be headed for — pardon my French — the shitter, many citizens in the EU are rather [...]

'The Daily Show' to Cover the Republican Convention from Tampa

Those poor souls at The Daily Show are doing what few sane New York liberals would dare to do: spend a week in Tampa at the Republican National Convention. They'll be broadcasting from America's shameful dangler from Tuesday, August 28 through Friday, August 31. They'll also be broadcasting from the DNC in Charlotte from Tuesday, September 4 through Friday, September 7, as previously announced.

'The 1/2 Hour News Hour': How Fox News's 'Daily Show' Did to Comedy what Fox News Does to News

The 2000 Presidential election was a mess. Far after the last ballots had been cast, miscounted chads hung throughout Florida, and America was left without a leader for months. Aside from establishing itself as the premiere American fuck up, Florida kicked off a decade defined by political partisanship without a mediator and general stupidity.

The election was ripe for satire, though, and Comedy Central wouldn't miss its chance. A re-tooled Daily Show had begun to pick up steam throughout this yearlong botched display of American party politics. Jon Stewart took aim at the unreasonable and sensationalist rants of the 24-hour news cycle with one target frequently in his crosshairs: [...]

Lefty Pranksters the Yes Men Turn to Kickstarter to Fund Their Next Movie

The Yes Men, a group of prankster filmmakers who use stunts like fake press conferences in order to bring to light the shady dealings of big business, are looking to Kickstarter to crowdsource their next movie, The Yes Men Are Revolting. That's the trailer/pitch up there. There are plenty of fun incentives for parting with your cash, including a day sailing with one of the Yes Men (sorry, "a day of irony on the waters surrounding the financial capital of the world") for a mere $10,000.

The Chris Gethard Show's Connor Ratliff Reflects on His Presidential Campaign

As election season becomes election month, top contenders are focusing on tying up swing states and trying not to tank debates. Connor Ratliff, the official presidential candidate of The Chris Gethard Show, has other priorities: putting the finishing touches on his new documentary, Old Enough To Be President: Connor Ratliff's 35-Year Journey To The White House (which premieres October 15 at 92YTribeca).

Ratliff’s campaign began as a one-off video for public access talk show TCGS, and quickly blossomed into a full-blown political powerhouse, branching out to include national events, a full staff, and celebrity endorsements. His platform is simple — he meets the Constitutionally mandated minimum age for [...]

Who Is Christwire Really Mocking, Anyway?

Personality-driven reporting has become the rule rather than the exception. On Fox News and MSNBC, breaking stories come with a built-in perspective, keeping viewers loyal while helping insulate them from dissenting, challenging or complex opinions. Most blogs operate in a similar way. Try, if you can, to count how many times in the last few days you’ve skimmed over insight-free outrage at the childhood behavior of Mitt Romney. This is a question of hits, of course — a famous man being awful is news everyone wants to click on, and taking a righteous stance against him is easy, safe, and brand-building. On its own, this seems to be just [...]

Veep and the Absurdities of Power

With the exception of Al Gore, the office of the Vice President has recently become a fertile ground for comedy, mostly because of the characters involved. Dan Quayle was comically stupid, Dick Cheney was comically evil, and, if The Onion is to be believed, Joe Biden is just a guy looking for a good time. The funny thing is that these qualities are pretty terrifying if they ever become attached to the responsibilities of the President, which of course is a very real possibility (one could argue that George W. Bush was a mixture of all three).

There's a moment in Veep — a brilliant new HBO series [...]

Let Mr. Burns Explain the Fiscal Cliff to You

This whole self-created fiscal cliff crisis is both complicated and simple at the same time: complicated in that it involves a whole slew of specific tax hikes and spending cuts that, if enacted, would have a huge effect on the economy, and simple in that it's just a bad thing that congress created in order to force themselves to actually do their jobs and they really hate that the time is now upon them to deal with it. Why stress about something you have no control over that'll almost definitely be taken care of in a satisfactory-enough manner when you can just have reliable old heartless billionaire Monty [...]

Fox's Late-Night Animation Block, FoxADHD, Launches a Daily Video Site With One Unsettling Debate Parody

Fox's new late-night animation block, FoxADHD, is getting closer to its July 2013 launch. There's now a new site for it that's debuting a new video every day along with a bunch of really nutso gifs. The first video is above, a straight-up disturbing take on the presidential debates. You can follow the site or their Twitter feed for more such craziness. This first video sure does seem like a planted flag, letting us know that the Adult Swim pedigree of the folks launching this block is shining through, and they're not toning down the weirdness for a major network. And thank goodness for that.

Lewis Black to Vent About Politics on Broadway

Just in time for the election this fall, Lewis Black is bringing his latest one-man show, Running on Empty, to Broadway. It'll run at the Richard Rodgers Theater from October 9th to the 14th. His last show, Black on Broadway, was also broadcast as a special on HBO, so there's a good chance that this one will as well. As for his reasoning, here's what Black had to say about the new show:

Why Broadway? It’s close to my apartment, just blocks away, and frankly I’m too tired to go anywhere else. These guys are exhausting me. Democrats. Republicans. The Tea Party. Just shut up. Enough is enough.


Joe Biden's Feelings Are Hurt by 'Veep'

Poor VP Joe Biden and his lackeys aren't fans of HBO's new show Veep, which centers on a fictional version of his office. A staffer of his had this to say about it: "It would have been more watercooler conversation-inspiring if it had been funnier. The show gets the D.C. personalities right, but it has what's funny about the VP all wrong. A senator would come to him. Not the other way around. That the VP paradoxically has enormous power and no power — is treated like the president but isn't. But they missed that." Perhaps they should pitch a rival VP-based comedy to Showtime? The more the merrier, [...]