Satirical TV has become mandatory viewing for citizens wishing to make sense of the bizarre contemporary state of political life. Shifts in industry ecomics and audience tastes have re-made television comedy, once considered a wasteland of escapist humor, into what is arguably the most popular source of political critique. From fake news and pundit shows to animated sitcoms and mash-up videos, satire has become an important avenue for processing politics in informative and entertaining ways, and satire TV is w its own thriving, viable television genre. Satire TV examines what happens when comedy becomes political, and politics become funny. A series of original essays focus on a range of programs, from The Daily Show to South Park, Da Ali G Show to The Colbert Report, The Boondocks to Saturday Night Live, Lil' Bush to Chappelle's Show, along with Internet D.I.Y. satire and essays on British and Canadian satire. They all offer insights into what today's class of satire tells us about the current state of politics, of television, of citizenship, all the while suggesting what satire adds to the political realm that news and documentaries cant.
Jonathan Gray is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Television Entertainment, Television Studies (with Amanda D. Lotz), Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, and Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality. Jeffrey P. Jones is Associate Professor of Communication & Theatre Arts at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Entertaining Politics: New Political Television and Civic Culture and co-editor of The Essential HBO Reader. Ethan Thompson is Associate Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He is the author of Parody and Taste in Postwar American Television Culture, and co-editor of Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era.