In a news cycle full of clownish characters and outrageous rhetoric, it’s no wonder satire isn’t fully registering with a lot of readers.
You might see a headline from The Onion or The Babylon Bee and, for a split second, think it’s true. But many social media users don’t get the joke – and share these articles as if they’re real.
Jon Stewart (R) with former NYPD bomb squad detective, Louis Alvarez (L) as they are sworn in before a House Judiciary Committee hearing, June 2019.
EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO
Jon Stewart insists he is just a comedian, but his comic barbs have always had a political edge.
Dame Edna Everage at Melbourne Town Hall in 2006 after being presented with the Key to the City.
Public taste has changed and that is that. It’s not just the references that date in topical satire. Audiences are powerful, and if they feel insulted they can shut down a comedian.
Titania McGrath: not for the easily offended.
Spoof Twitter accounts carry on a grand tradition of satire that has its roots in the 18th century.
Charlie Pickering may be a witty and intelligent young man, but he’s too reassuring a presence compared to surveyors of the edge of chaos.
Today’s screen satire frequently preaches to the converted. Fortunately, there are some notable exceptions that can skewer even the most progressive of viewers.
Artwork courtesy of Richard LIttler (scarfolk.blogspot.com)
Too many satirists on social media misunderstand that it is humour designed to provoke change, not merely direct ridicule.
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, detailing the grim fate of Protestant clerics Latimer and Ridley, is one clue as to why Baldwin hesitated before publishing his irreverent book.
In the mid-16th century, William Baldwin wrote a satire on Catholicism but waited a decade before publishing it. Sensible man.
Still from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Python (Monty) Pictures
Is anyone still interested in Monty Python? Surprisingly, yes.
Image courtesy of Channel 4
The undercover comic has been criticised for tricking public figures into saying stupid things – but that doesn’t mean they didn’t want to say them.
Image courtesy of Fox UK
In an era of fast news, The Simpsons’ slow satire continues to reveal new truths about America.
John Oliver presents Last Week Tonight. Is he merely preaching to converted?
Screenshot from Youtube
We may be living in a golden age of satire, but comedy has always struggled to communicate across political divides. Much of today’s satire may be preaching to the choir.
The magazine taught its readers to never swallow what they’re served.
Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Jasperdo
Today’s media consumers are being bombarded with bias and sensationalism – and could use a dose of Mad’s media literacy.
The Death of Stalin is about the chaotic political drama that followed the Russian leader’s demise in 1953.
Speaking with: satirist Armando Ianucci on The Death of Stalin.
The Conversation, CC BY 44.1 MB (download)
Armando Iannucci, the satirist and director behind the film The Death of Stalin spoke with Associate Professor Stephen Harrington, an expert on political satire.
Netflix hit, Black Mirror, follows in the footsteps of other forward-thinking sci-fi storytellers.
The stunning hoax of The Shed at Dulwich, deceived millions and showed how willing we are to consume an appetizing story.
(Courtesy VICE /Theo McInnes)
The Shed at Dulwich reached TripAdvisor’s No. 1 spot for restaurants in London before it was revealed to be a hoax. The stunt showed how easily we are fooled. The lesson learned? Trust no one.
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.