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(Onion AV Club)   Headline: Can bipartisan comedy ever be truly satirical? Article and comments: Political humor is unfunny(tm) when it's aimed at people I like   (avclub.com) divider line 55
    More: Obvious, Mike Judge, Lovecraftian, Jay Leno, comedy, White House Correspondents' Association Dinner  
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1336 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 21 Jan 2013 at 1:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



55 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-01-21 01:50:49 PM
Yeah. Because Fox News and their Half Hour Comedy Hour was such a kneeslapper.
 
2013-01-21 01:51:39 PM
It's very possible to make fun of leftists in a legitimately amusing fashion. Portlandia does a great job of that. Rush Limbaugh does not.

It's very easy to make fun of conservatives. I don't think the previous sentence requires any other elaboration.
 
2013-01-21 01:52:18 PM
John Stewart does an awesome job aiming political comedy at people he agrees with the majority of the time. SNL does a great job skewering both political parties. South Park has their moments, too.
 
2013-01-21 01:53:25 PM

likefunbutnot: It's very possible to make fun of leftists in a legitimately amusing fashion. Portlandia does a great job of that. Rush Limbaugh does not.

It's very easy to make fun of conservatives. I don't think the previous sentence requires any other elaboration.


It's quite easy to fark it up, too. Family Guy went on a particularly non-funny run there for a while.
 
2013-01-21 01:55:02 PM

likefunbutnot: It's very possible to make fun of leftists in a legitimately amusing fashion. Portlandia does a great job of that. Rush Limbaugh does not.

It's very easy to make fun of conservatives. I don't think the previous sentence requires any other elaboration.


Pretty much this. Political humor is supposed to be aimed at certain corrupt/over the top individuals on both sides. The problem with most conservative "comedy" is that it is aimed at anyone who identifies at all as a liberal. See any of your "FW:RE:RE:FW:FW:FW: LOL LIBERALS" emails from your grandmother.
 
2013-01-21 01:57:45 PM
I've voted Republican for most of my adult life and I can honestly say that Republicans, for the most part, are humorless.

I just think most Republicans take things WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too seriously.
 
2013-01-21 01:58:12 PM
Your favorite politician sucks.

Your ideology is bullshait.

/Every "Politics" tab argument ever.
 
2013-01-21 02:00:14 PM
Yes, nobody ever laughs at jokes made about Democrats


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-01-21 02:02:06 PM
GRCooper's Law:

If you can't laugh at your own sacred cows, then you don't have a sense of humor - you're just an asshole who likes to laugh at other people's sacred cows.
 
2013-01-21 02:04:17 PM

likefunbutnot: It's very possible to make fun of leftists in a legitimately amusing fashion. Portlandia does a great job of that. Rush Limbaugh does not.

It's very easy to make fun of conservatives. I don't think the previous sentence requires any other elaboration.


The Simpsons used to do such s job a friend thought they were right wingers
 
2013-01-21 02:05:52 PM
Political comedy is funny when the comedy is the primary goal and the politics is merely the superficial topic.  Good comedy points out the foibles and imperfections of all humanity.

Political comedy is not funny when the politics are made primary and the comedy is secondary.  In that case, it simply devolves to "people in that party suck! Hurr Hurr Hurr."  Only empty-headed partisan hacks find that amusing.
 
2013-01-21 02:05:58 PM
Huh?

FTFA: "Instead of offering audiences an escape into a world where politics is all just good fun, Colbert was willing, even eager, to make everyone uncomfortable, including people who agree with him politically and the president of the United States."

I don't remember anyone that agreed with Colbert's politics feeling uncomfortable by that speech.  Maybe the stunned silence inspired by the fact that one comedian could be so f*cking awesome was misinterpreted as discomfort.

I actually did feel kind of bad for Dubya during Colbert's speech.  Then I remembered that he was/is a worthless human being, a deplorable president, and a moronic asshole.  So my sympathy was brief.

And there was nothing "fun" about politics during Dubya's administration.  Appalling is the best word that comes to mind.  Here's some proof if you need it.
 
2013-01-21 02:06:38 PM
next on PBS, the Mark Russell Show...

images.politico.com
 
2013-01-21 02:12:32 PM

StinkyFiddlewinks: Yeah. Because Fox News and their Half Hour Comedy Hour was such a kneeslapper.


Although its no Daily Show or Colbert Report, Red Eye is pretty funny.
 
2013-01-21 02:14:27 PM

meanmutton: SNL does a great job skewering both political parties. South Park has their moments, too.


I don't know about SNL sometimes. I remember 4 years ago (iirc) when the dems took complete control so they did a skit (their cold open) where they had a whole bunch of republican politicians sitting in a room talking about how awesome it was that they have no power. That was the joke for five long minutes where the audience (usually very liberal) wasn't even laughing. If they had included some jokes like "well the dems still won't pass anything anyways" it would've been at least a little funny. They're too one sided in their humor IMO to be able to make fun of deserving politicians on both sides.

/I haven't been watching enough recently, so this could have changed
//sp does it best
/// "I farking hate conservatives, but I really farking hate liberals" has always been a quote that stuck with me.
 
2013-01-21 02:15:49 PM
i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-21 02:21:54 PM
i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-21 02:25:45 PM
i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-21 02:29:52 PM

FloydA: Political comedy is funny when the comedy is the primary goal and the politics is merely the superficial topic.  Good comedy points out the foibles and imperfections of all humanity.

Political comedy is not funny when the politics are made primary and the comedy is secondary.  In that case, it simply devolves to "people in that party suck! Hurr Hurr Hurr."  Only empty-headed partisan hacks find that amusing.


This is well put. I think that's why I don't like Colbert, but I love Stewart. Colbert always seems to be trying to take ideological jabs first and foremost.
 
2013-01-21 02:39:28 PM

FloydA: [i105.photobucket.com image 426x272]


Now that BJ/Clinton nails an intern jokes aren't the only thing Leno tells they're actually pretty funny again. Funny how overexposure kills a joke some times.
 
2013-01-21 02:40:50 PM
Are there any good satirists on the right? I know they've got outragists out the wazoo.
 
2013-01-21 02:44:06 PM

Marshal805: Your favorite politician sucks.

Your ideology is bullshait.

/Every "Politics" tab argument ever.


Of course. It's third constant in life, behind death and taxes.
 
2013-01-21 02:46:29 PM
I don't know, mang. A lot of leftists are pretty unfunny when they are just old white guys screaming at an audience who would cheer no matter what.
 
2013-01-21 02:57:32 PM
i.qkme.me

I heart Bill and this image so much
 
2013-01-21 03:08:42 PM
Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are on a boat in the middle of the ocean. The boat springs a leak and begins to sink. Who is saved?



A: America.
 
2013-01-21 03:11:54 PM

StinkyFiddlewinks: Yeah. Because Fox News and their Half Hour Comedy Hour was such a kneeslapper.


Red Eye is funny if you get the right panel. It reminds me a bit of what politically incorrect was before Maher totally fell in love with himself.
 
2013-01-21 03:17:29 PM

zerkalo: [i.qkme.me image 625x416]

I heart Bill and this image so much


That is a good one.

Can we hear something from the other side of the aisle?
 
2013-01-21 03:17:38 PM

Apos: Are there any good satirists on the right? I know they've got outragists out the wazoo.


That's kind of the issue.

I know right-wingers who know comedy. They're funny.

But when it comes to politics they're at a disadvantage because typically Conservatives have a stick up their arse and the people they're going after don't get upset all that easily. They can laugh at themselves and move on. Someone like Stewart does a funny voice talking about a Conservative and the memo goes out at FOX News and Hannity, O'Reilly and everyone there makes hay of it. He does a five-minute long but about Anthony Weiner and it gets played on MSNBC over how funny it is and they proceed to make a very salient point about the state of the party and how it could possible be better.

This eventually means that Conservatives have to dig into the toolbox and see what other humorists have and use and they think that just blurting something out that's offensive will get the job done, which usually backfires. Badly.

Conservatives have sacred cows. They're static and are revered and timeless. Liberals have concepts that change and evolve. They know that poking fun at it is fine because in a dozen years it will have evolved and not apply or will have been taken into account for a newer and better concept.
 
2013-01-21 03:22:43 PM

likefunbutnot: It's very possible to make fun of leftists in a legitimately amusing fashion. Portlandia does a great job of that. Rush Limbaugh does not.

It's very easy to make fun of conservatives. I don't think the previous sentence requires any other elaboration.


I think this is a very astute commentary on where the fringes of the parties really are. The left can make fun of itself because we know the loonies are loonies, and we can all point and laugh. The right takes itself Very Seriously, and actually believes it's own crazy story line. This is why we all cringe in fear. When they say their stupid shiat, we know they really mean it.
 
2013-01-21 03:34:54 PM
userserve-ak.last.fm
"If you want to elect Bush, that's the prick that I'm gonna yell about. If you want to elect John Kerry, I'm gonna be yelling about him. My problem is with authority."

Does a great job on bashing either side. Republicans just make it really easy.
 
2013-01-21 03:40:25 PM
In his fearless speech, Colbert absolutely eviscerated Bush while pretending to praise him. He was so brutal and uncompromising that even some folks who despise Bush were tempted to feel sorry for him. It's easy enough to make fun of the president from the safe remove of a television studio in Manhattan; it's a whole lot harder to ruthlessly lampoon the most powerful man in the world while he's sitting close enough to breathe down your neck.

I remember when I was watching that live on C-SPAN and I just could not believe that it was happening. I knew that Colbert was going to have some fun with him, but I didn't think he was going to be that brazen about it. And even though I think Colbert is hilarious and GWB was a dimwit, I think I did feel just a tiny bit sorry for him at that moment.

Actually, I'm still not completely sure that GWB realized just how bad Colbert was sticking it to him at the time. Maybe someone explained it to him the next day?
 
2013-01-21 03:50:22 PM
In his fearless speech, Colbert absolutely eviscerated Bush while pretending to praise him. He was so brutal and uncompromising that even some folks who despise Bush were tempted to feel sorry for him. It's easy enough to make fun of the president from the safe remove of a television studio in Manhattan; it's a whole lot harder to ruthlessly lampoon the most powerful man in the world while he's sitting close enough to breathe down your neck.

I remember when I was watching that live on C-SPAN and I just could not believe that it was happening. I knew that Colbert was going to have some fun with him, but I didn't think he was going to be that brazen about it. And even though I think Colbert is hilarious and GWB was a dimwit, I think I did feel just a tiny bit sorry for him at that moment.

Actually, I'm still not completely sure that GWB realized just how bad Colbert was sticking it to him at the time. Maybe someone explained it to him the next day?


I am surprised that Colbert isn't dead. I bet he avoided small planes for quite some time.Pincy:
 
2013-01-21 03:57:25 PM

Apos: Are there any good satirists on the right? I know they've got outragists out the wazoo.


Dennis Miller was making a decent crack at it for a while there. I don't know what happened but the danger is when things slide from 'funny' to 'derpy'.
 
2013-01-21 04:16:03 PM
There's all sorts of ways to make fun of people of whichever political ideology.

I think the problem is that when conservatives try to be funny, it's often forced, or just malicious.
 
2013-01-21 04:17:27 PM
www.buildfreedom.com
"I'm a registered Republican and consider socialism a violation of the American principle that you shouldn't stick your nose in other people's business except to make a buck."

"Giving government money and power is like giving car keys and whiskey to a teenage boy"

"Sen. Ted Kennedy: And when the Reagan administration was selling arms to Iran, WHERE WAS GEORGE?
Answer: Dry, sober, and at home with his wife"

"Guns are always the best method for private suicide. Drugs are too chancy. You might just miscalculate the dosage and just have a good time"

"Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective."

"The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it"
 
2013-01-21 04:24:47 PM

gwowen: "The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it"


Fox News has Juan Williams and NPR's Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me has P.J. O'Rourke.
 
2013-01-21 04:28:48 PM

GriffXX: Apos: Are there any good satirists on the right? I know they've got outragists out the wazoo.

Dennis Miller was making a decent crack at it for a while there. I don't know what happened but the danger is when things slide from 'funny' to 'derpy'.


Dennis Miller was funny for the sake of his take on the grand shared experience and some level of intellectualism we knew and identified and the contrast between the two.

Once that was over he just got unfunny. Angry and unfunny.
 
2013-01-21 04:32:17 PM
"Bipartisan comedy" is something of a contradiction in terms. People with disparate interests looking to find common ground, while certainly a Good Thing for many other reasons, generally isn't very funny.
 
2013-01-21 04:39:06 PM

rustypouch: There's all sorts of ways to make fun of people of whichever political ideology.

I think the problem is that when conservatives try to be funny, it's often forced, or just malicious.


It seems to me that Conservatives don't seem to be able to laugh at themselves as easily as Liberals, at least that's been my experience. They see humor almost completely as a weapon and thus laughing at themselves is in some way like harming themselves, suicide by comedy if you will. So then most of the humor they try is also used primarily as a weapon, which goes to what you were saying about being malicious instead of funny.
 
2013-01-21 04:47:58 PM
The problem with most "conservative" humor is that it's laced with too much "truth" and not enough humor.

That's partly what happened to Dennis Miller. When the world was a place to make fun of, Miller was funny. He acknowledged years ago that 9/11 (and his children) changed his world view - essentially, into "The World Is Out to Get Us". At that point, the "truth" seeped in - he has constantly remind people in his humor that the bad thing is right around the corner (and don't you forget it).

The other major contingent of conservative humor isn't really intended to be humor. It just refers to a stereotype, and people who recognize the reference find it funny, almost as a Pavlovian response, despite the comedy not being funny on its own.

Having said that, I've long felt that most hardcore conservatives live by the guideline: "I'm afraid, and you should be afraid, too." Hard place to find comedy.
 
2013-01-21 04:56:27 PM
I actually refused to watch Jon Stewart during the Bush years, because every. single. f*cking. episode was just some grudgef*ck hate rant about Republicans. Now that Bush is out, Stewart has been much funnier, because he makes fun of Democrats and Republicans.

I know I hate Republicans, I don't need Stewart reminding me why they deserve my hatred every day. I'm here to be entertained.
 
2013-01-21 05:04:45 PM
there is no real fundamental difference between the left and the right, because they're all essentially knuckleheads, narcissists, and crooks only out for their own interests

BSABSVR.


Skarekrough: Liberals have concepts that change and evolve. They know that poking fun at it is fine because in a dozen years it will have evolved and not apply or will have been taken into account for a newer and better concept.


It's almost like liberals, I dunno, progress, or something.
 
2013-01-21 05:05:28 PM

HotWingAgenda: every. single. f*cking. episode was just some grudgef*ck hate rant about Republicans.


Both Stewart and Colbert have been full of righteous vengeance and furious anger since the beginning of the new year and it hasn't exactly been aimed at any democrats.

I mean, all of it is richly deserved and it's being said in a way that isn't going to come from public broadcasting or respectable news sources, but last week the combination of anger and need for at least some degree of timeliness made their coverage palpably grudgefark haterant-y.
 
2013-01-21 07:03:02 PM

GriffXX: Apos: Are there any good satirists on the right? I know they've got outragists out the wazoo.

Dennis Miller was making a decent crack at it for a while there. I don't know what happened but the danger is when things slide from 'funny' to 'derpy'.


Miller used to be hilarious when he was on SNL...


...and Al Franken was writing all his material...


Oh; I see your point.
 
2013-01-21 07:30:50 PM

gwowen: [www.buildfreedom.com image 184x222]
"I'm a registered Republican and consider socialism a violation of the American principle that you shouldn't stick your nose in other people's business except to make a buck."

"Giving government money and power is like giving car keys and whiskey to a teenage boy"

"Sen. Ted Kennedy: And when the Reagan administration was selling arms to Iran, WHERE WAS GEORGE?
Answer: Dry, sober, and at home with his wife"

"Guns are always the best method for private suicide. Drugs are too chancy. You might just miscalculate the dosage and just have a good time"

"Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective."

"The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it"


He also has a lot of fun doing whatever and certainly used to talk a lot about driving fast cars and getting drunk.
 
2013-01-21 07:31:08 PM
Part of the problem is that being conservative and cracking a joke, is like being an engineer.

Did you hear about that new Democrat policy? It's trying to do this, but when you work the numbers you will find out that it is actually a bit counterproductive in the worst case, and the best case is 15% less effective than this alternative.


Liberal's hearts are in the right place, they just forgot how to do the math.
 
2013-01-21 09:10:36 PM
Dennis Miller made a joke about Nancy Pelosi's blink that had me roaring with laughter. And I'm a full-on liberal. So, it can be done. Just has to be done well that's all.
 
2013-01-22 12:30:57 AM
Dennis Miller, Nick Dipaolo, and Glenn Beck are the only "funny" conservatives.

And that is sad.
 
2013-01-22 12:45:25 AM

addy2: Dennis Miller made a joke about Nancy Pelosi's blink that had me roaring with laughter. And I'm a full-on liberal. So, it can be done. Just has to be done well that's all.


Miller used to have moments when he was very funny, especially during his HBO show days.
Too bad he blew a fuse after 9/11.
 
2013-01-22 01:16:19 AM
This last election was the first one where I hung out and worked with the Democrats (I was out of the country for 2008), and all I really have to say is that I realized that the Democrats are a heck of a lot more fun to be around than all the Republicans in my past life were. I think that translates into better comedy.
 
2013-01-22 02:44:46 AM

Uranus Is Huge!: Dennis Miller, Nick Dipaolo, and Glenn Beck are the only "funny" conservatives.

And that is sad.


I don't know who Nick Dipaolo is but Miller and Beck are not funny comedians, or at least not intentionally.
 
2013-01-22 03:03:13 AM

kim jong-un:
Liberal's hearts are in the right place, they just forgot how to do the math.


Is that like the "cutting taxes raises revenue" kinda math?
 
2013-01-22 08:19:34 AM

Pincy: I don't know who Nick Dipaolo is but Miller and Beck are not funny comedians, or at least not intentionally.


Dipaolo was a regular on Comedy Central's old pre-Colbert 11:30 show, "Colin Quinn and His Equally Unfunny Friends Piss and Moan About Not Finding Work." I'm sure he's a guest on some wacky morning zoo at some radio station in the small Midwest town he's playing tonight. What I'm saying is, you're not missing anything.
 
2013-01-22 08:23:37 AM
And, while we're on it, aren't most conservative entertainers who speak up merely has-beens who are simultaneously trying to drum up publicity for themselves one last time while attempting to stick it to the industry that they feel has left them behind?
 
2013-01-22 12:40:43 PM
It's a conservative value system thing. They value 3 things that liberals do not: sanctity, authority, and loyalty. In doing so, they do things that are absurdly funny, and are themselves incapable of satire, because they don't understand how mocking sacred cows, authority figures, or blind loyalty could be funny.
 
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