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Posts tagged as satire

The Satire We Need Right Now Is All The Satire That's On Right Now

Last fall, I was watching a new episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver with a few friends, the one featuring an exposé on civil forfeitures. Toward the end, one of my friends blurted out that he thought he got more out of Last Week Tonight than he ever got out of The Daily Show. Another friend agreed, but I wasn’t so sure. I mean, it’s a tough claim to make, especially if you’ve been watching The Daily Show for most of its run, like I have. How can you compare something that’s aired thousands of episodes, all of those revelatory segments that could feel like small revolutions were [...]

'The Onion' Responds to the 'Charlie Hebdo' Terrorist Attack

The Onion has responded to today's tragic terrorist attack at the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo with a new article titled "It Sadly Unclear Whether This Article Will Put Lives At Risk." The post echoes much of what former Onion editor Joe Randazzo wrote at MSNBC earlier today, and while it's way too honest and heartbreaking to be funny, it serves as both a strange read and powerful display of solidarity from one humor publication to another. Here's an excerpt:

Those familiar with the situation told reporters that if someone were to read the very words written here and be offended by them, it would [...]

John Oliver Calls Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert the "High-Water Mark for Satire"

"One of the laziest stereotypes that British people have of Americans is that they don’t get irony. And that has never been true and it’s definitely not true now. … It’s very hard to make that case when Jon [Stewart] and Stephen [Colbert] are doing what they’re doing. They’re the high-water mark for satire now."

John Oliver in a new interview with the Washington Post ahead of the premiere of his HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which airs on HBO on April 27th.

Satire Is Hard: Why Most 'Onion' Ripoffs Don't Work

Working as an editor for my college’s satirical newspaper, I learned one unassailable fact: we would never be as funny as The Onion. As proud as I was of the work we produced at that publication – the Kenyon Collegiate, for those Ohio liberal arts college comedy aficionados among you – it never came close to the consistency, scope or focus of America’s Finest News Source. Part of this, of course, is due to a limited talent pool and zero resources. Part of it is due to a blatant aping of their style (a working title for the newspaper was The Kenyon Carrot). Mostly, though, it’s because good satire [...]

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 [...]

'Charlie Hebdo' Will Print an Additional Two Million Copies of This Week's Issue

The latest issue of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo hit the stands today, and the three million copies sold out within minutes. The Guardian reports that the publication will print an additional two million copies of the issue to meet the high demand, and Animal New York has embedded the full issue online and begun to translate the cartoons into English. Here's a translation of Charlie columnist Zineb El Rhazoui's parting message to her colleagues who were killed during last week's terrorist attack via The Daily Beast:

“The pain will be long, will recur, and stretch out over time… But we will take a long time, [...]

Facebook Is Testing a "Satire" Tag So Dumb People Will Stop Getting Fooled by 'The Onion'

Within the past few weeks, Facebook has been rolling out a new feature that tags links from The Onion with a "[Satire]" warning, effectively killing the whole point of the website and making Facebook a safer place for dumb people everywhere. The "satire" tag doesn't show up when it's originally posted to Facebook but instead after users click through to the site then return to Facebook, where a list of three "related articles" appear. Probably the strangest part of the implementation is that it's limited to the "related articles" section only, and other satire sites such as Onion's Buzzfeed parody Clickhole are currently exempt from getting the [...]

Inside Jokes from Dubai and Texas: The Rise of Local Satire

The following web headlines received hundreds of thousands of views and shut down local Internet servers:

1) “Emirates to Introduce Shisha Lounges Onboard A380 Fleet” in Dubai;

2) “Man Takes Viagra, Wears Sweatpants for TSA Pat Down” in Washington DC;

3) “The Assassination of [London Mayor] Boris Johnson” in London.

Each of them was fake. But none of them was from The Onion, Private Eye or the Harvard Lampoon, some of the famous names in satire writing.

Fake news sites proliferate now, from Mexico’s El Deforma to India’s Unreal Times; from the rural Texas Cockroach to the UK’s popular Daily Mash. Fake news, like regular news, has even become a [...]

Watch Jon Stewart Talk to Bassem Youssef, the Jon Stewart of Egypt

Bassem Youssef, who hosts a satirical news show in Egypt akin to Comedy Central's The Daily Show, payed Jon Stewart a visit last night. Being in Egypt instead of America makes his job slightly more difficult than Stewart's.

Gain IQ Points Easily Via a TED Talk on the Power of Comedy

Stick it out through a few minutes of talk about comparative literature and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and you'll get to the good stuff in this TED talk from comedian Chris Bliss about the power of comedy. By "good stuff," obviously I mean "explanation of how satire with integrity uses comedic techniques to impact people's opinions."

What gives comedy its edge at reaching around people's walls is the way that it uses misdirection. A great piece of comedy is a verbal magic trick, where you think it's going over here, and then all of a sudden you're transported over here, and there's this mental delight that's followed by the [...]

This Week's 'Charlie Hebdo' Will Feature Prophet Muhammad Cartoons

In the wake of last week's tragic terrorist attack, the surviving writers and artists of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo are back at work in full force. The New York Times profiled the first day back at the temporary Charlie Hebdo offices, where editor Gérard Biard revealed what readers can expect from Wednesday's issue, which will print three million copies (up from the usual 60,000) in 16 languages:

While the editors were keeping the content under wraps, it seemed likely that the cover might explore the paradox of their newfound friends. Another idea was clear: keeping the staff members’ memories alive by publishing past work. The [...]

'The New Yorker' Profiles 'Mad' Magazine as an Anti-Smoking Ad Pioneer

The New Yorker ran an excellent article last week about Mad magazine's big anti-smoking push during the '60s, which resulted not only in tons of hilarious tobacco ad parodies but some fake smoker-friendly inventions that, had the industry paid any attention to the small ad-free satirical magazine, could've potentially kick-started the e-cigarette boom decades earlier. From the article:

But the truly prescient invention was the "smoke simulator": a cork-tipped Pyrex tube containing small amounts of water, which, like the metal rod, would be inserted into a cigarette. Once the cigarette was lit, the cork at one end of the tube (edible, of course) popped out, and the water [...]

The Internet Has Created 8 (and Counting) 'Her' Parodies Called 'Him'

Ever since Spike Jonze's Oscar-nominated movie Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a female artificially intelligent operating system, hit theaters last month, the internet has been jam-packed with parodies of the film. Most of them are called Him and feature a male operating system instead of a female one, and whoever had this simple idea first had probably better start suing everyone who made a similar video for plagiarism immediately.

Check out all the Her parodies called Him below:

Citizens Untied: Parody in the Age of Corporate Media

For 20 years now I’ve been locked in a test of wills with corporate publishing, trying to produce books that are just as funny as TV and movies. That should be possible, right? One would think. Sometimes I win (international bestseller), sometimes they do (they commission books, then don’t pay me). I tell myself it’s David versus Goliath…but it’s probably just Joe Versus the Volcano.

Comedy being 90% confidence, there’s often a rough equivalence between a media’s swag, and the quality of comedy found in it. But weakness and decay can yield fruit as well — Garrison Keillor on the radio, for example, or The Onion rising from the ashes of [...]