When does parody spill into insensitive cultural appropriation? While Chris LIlley is probably OK to appropriate the upper North Shore culture of Ja’mie (pictured), he’s on dodgier ground with Jonah from Tonga.
Princess Pictures, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Home Box Office (HBO)
In our pursuit of a world that is safely and entirely OK, must humour be cleansed of its original sin of cultural appropriation and insensitivity? It depends whether we are 'laughing up' or 'laughing down'.
The face of mirth.
EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo
A president who apparently never laughs, Trump inspires mockery on an unprecedented scale.
Charlie Chaplin’s character Adenoid Hynkel was a not-so-subtle nod to Adolf Hitler.
Chaplin's 1940 film 'The Great Dictator' mocks Hitler’s absurdity and overweening vanity, while highlighting Germany's psychological captivity to a political fraud.
Franklin’s lifelong quest was spreading scientific knowledge to regular people.
Franklin advanced a scientific – not supernatural – understanding of astronomical events such as eclipses. His satirical character 'Poor Richard' mocked those who bought into astrological predictions.
Donald Trump Jr. has been compared to Fredo Corleone in The Godfather. But that's not good casting.
The UK needs more US-style political news satire. Sadly broadcast rules are making that difficult.
John Clarke: he particularly hated management speak.
John's conversations were full of hysterical laughter, and he had a way asking questions that drew extraordinary answers.
John Clarke, who died suddenly at the weekend, called out absurd politicking and dishonest language wherever he found it.
ABC Pr handout/AAP
John Clarke gave voice to a brilliant Antipodean acerbity that has always seemed a little old-fashioned in its moral and tonal dignity. His was a magnificent achievement of focused, pitch-perfect satire.
There are fears a new bill that seeks to criminalise hate speech in South Africa might infringe freedom of expression.
The growing incidence of racism on social media in South Africa suggests that there are consequences. Whether there ought to be criminal sanctions remains an ongoing debate.
A picture of Bill Leak supplied by The Australian on Friday, after news of his death.
AAP Image/NewsCorp, The Australian
Bill Leak divided his audience, image by image. Causing offence was a KPI for him, not a risk.
Twain was an opinionated, prolific commentator on the personalities and political issues of his day.
He probably would have been amused by – and maybe even befriended – Trump the entertainer. Trump the president? Not so much.
Fifty years of poking fun and holding power to account.
As newspaper circulation continues to founder, sales of satire and weekly news magazines have never looked healthier.
The newfound celebrity.
Some advice to Man Booker winner Paul Beatty on how to cope with his newfound fame.
Satirical, absurdist playwright Dario Fo dead aged 90.
Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA
Over a lifetime's work, Dario Fo stood tall and would not bow to either artistic or political compromise.
Taking physick – or – the news of shooting the King of Sweden!, by James Gillray (died 1815), published 1792.
British society takes monarchy far more seriously than they did two centuries ago. Far too seriously.
The joke’s on LIttlejohn.
Satire should be a way of keeping the powerful in check, not sneering at the powerless.
Protesters wearing masks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump march in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
From Alfonso the Wise's bawdy songs of slander to Ronald Reagan's sunny smile, politics and humor have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. But no one seems to be laughing anymore.
Our political system might lend itself to mockery, but are satirists stepping up?
The Chaser's Election Desk/ABC
As any political observer could tell you, sometimes you need to laugh to keep from crying. But as another federal election wraps up, Australia's political satire landscape looks a little grim.
Now finishing its fourth season, Rake is one of Australia’s most interesting TV dramas.
The ABC’s Rake is about to air its final episode. This smart, postmodern show ushered in a new kind of Australian satire: with less caricature than Front Line, more politics than Kath and Kim, and a fluid connection to high and low culture.
The cover of the ‘Weekly Standard’, February 2016.
Two recent controversial cartoons depicting people as apes have raised an important question: what are the legal and philosophical distinctions between harm and offence?