Political humor has been used throughout history, often seeking entertainment through the exchanging or expressions of satire which is based off of politics. Generally, political humor seeks to make laughs at the expense of other politicians or political figures and their actions, beliefs or expressions. The use of political humor usually does not have a direct agenda nor is it seeking to influence others’ opinions directly, but is more so a person’s satirical expression of opinion.
Types of political humor and affiliated programs
There are many different types of humor, and the same may be said for political humor as well. We are all firmly aware of the humor approach of sarcasm, but there is also self-effacing humor, subtle political humor, and witty political humor. These different types of humor are most often showed on television shows which seek to entertain and inform the viewers of events happening in the political sphere. Some of these television shows could be Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and LastWeekTonight. These television shows are often considered to be “infotainment”; a type of television program which inform the audience of happenings around the world, as well as provides political commentary, primarily through the use of humor.
The Daily Show: The Daily show is a talk-show program where Jon Stewart (currently replaced by Trevor Noah in August of 2015) provides his political commentary as well as humor into the scheme. Stewart’s approach to the political field is of definite satire, as he is also a comedian. Stewart’s primary humor type is definitely self-effacing and deprecating, often prodding at himself slightly less than trying not to form a strong personal opinion or agenda to the audience.
The Colbert Report was a successful television show on none other than channel Comedy Central. If the station was not reason enough, Colbert’s inappropriate and constant outlandish humor is enough to invoke the belief that he is definitely commenting on politics. Colbert had a myriad of different types of humor which he constantly used throughout his show’s run; whether it was deadpan humor to offensive and satire. Many people primarily watched the show to be entertained opposed to inform, in fact.
LastWeekTonight is a new satire show which is commented by John Oliver, who previously worked on the Daily Show with Stewart. Like Stewart’s show, this program also majors in news and political satire over different types of political humor. Along with satire, Oliver also uses exaggerated humor akin to Colbert.
Saturday Night Live is an on-going skit television comedy program which offers pure entertainment for the viewers. The skits on the television program span anywhere from extremely subtle to very outrageous, but tend to stray away from the offensive type humor. Saturday Night Live (SNL) hosts a group of different comedic actors which present different situations in their skits, normally commentating on social and media trends, as well as news and politics.