Recent changes to defamation laws may give political commentators more room to manoeuvre, but up-and-coming satirists will still face challenges to safely practice their craft.
Effective political satire will often cause outrage. But is there evidence to suggest it can influence people’s personal politics?
An example of 18th-century right-wing conservative commentary: ‘The New Atalantis.’
Anonymous satire by a 1709 political writer worked like today’s partisan clickbait.
Amazon Studios, Four by Two Films
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won’t be the Jeff Bezos-backed David that slays Goliath. But the film does manage to skewer some targets beyond the White House, such as the creepy misogyny on full display.
If he’s laughing, it’s probably not at the Lincoln Project’s satire.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
A political action committee of longtime Republican strategists is using satire to attack President Donald Trump and influence American voters.
John Lacy, a Restoration actor and playwright, satirised puritans, including in his role as Mr Scruple in The Cheats by John Wilson (right).
John Michael Wright (died 1694/National Portrait Gallery
Puritans were often depicted as fools until they had a shot at government, and then the humour got darker.
Am I laughing?
Political satire is not dead – but it’s had to adapt since Donald Trump’s election.
Whose side are you on anyway? BBC comedy show Have I Got News for You.
What people find funny about politics depends largely on who is in power.
The female form is often used to depict themes of freedom and justice – and satirists think it’s useful to extend the metaphor to rape. But that’s a problem.
It’s dehumanising when cartoonists use images of sexual violence to make broad-brush comments about society.
Satire can skewer a pompous or corrupt politician. But history shows it can also popularise its targets.
Image courtesy of See-Saw Films
The second feature from the creator of Brass Eye and Four Lions is a savage spoof on the FBI’s counter-terrorism strategy.
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.
‘Laugh so you don’t cry’: Venezuelan students crack up as they stand near a damaged mural of Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 7, 2019.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
The rise of black comedy to explain Venezuela’s chaos recalls an old saying in the crisis-stricken South American country: ‘Laugh so you don’t cry.’
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.
Rubberly jubbly: Roger Law with Margaret Thatcher.
Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images
Royals, politicians and pop stars were all fair game for this smash hit show of the 1980s and 1990s.
Satirist Jonathan Biggins on sending up the pollies.
Jonathan Biggins, who has been sending up politicians as part of the Wharf Revue for almost two decades, has some sharp words about social media and a warning on political correctness.
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.
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.