Contemporary Satire

Topics: Satire, The Colbert Report, Parody Pages: 2 (687 words) Published: March 3, 2009
Contemporary popular usage often uses the term "satire" in a very imprecise manner. While satire often uses caricature and parody, by no means are all uses of these or other humorous devices, satiric. Refer to the careful definition of satire that heads this article.

Stephen Colbert satirizes an opinionated and self-righteous television commentator on his Comedy Central program in the United States.Stephen Colbert’s television programme The Colbert Report is instructive in the methods of contemporary American satire. Colbert's character is an opinionated and self-righteous commentator who, in his TV interviews, interrupts people, points and wags his finger at them, and "unwittingly" uses a number of logical fallacies. In doing so, he demonstrates the principle of modern American political satire: the ridicule of the actions of politicians and other public figures by taking all their statements and purported beliefs to their furthest (supposedly) logical conclusion, thus revealing their perceived hypocrisy. Other political satire includes various political causes in the past, including the relatively successful Polish Beer-Lovers' Party and the joke political candidates Molly the Dog[22] and Brian Miner [23].

In the United Kingdom, the literary genre of Satire also began to grow at the height of World War II and the years of the mysterious Cold War. George Orwell's Animal Farm marked the beginning of a political satire, with talking animals who plot to rule the world. Upon defeating Farmer Jones, the break out into an era of totalitarianism. Despite having little humour, this work is highly regarded by libraries. One of the most popular satirists in the history of British literature is the recently knighted Sir Terry Pratchett, whose internationally best-selling Discworld series has sold more than 55,000,000 copies.

Cartoonists often use satire as well as straight humour. Al Capp's satirical comic strip Li'l Abner was censored in September 1947. The...
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