Sarcastic Essays

Sarcastic Essays-73
Critical verbal humor is a very specific thing—one reason that American film comedies struggle for viewers overseas.Sarcastic ripostes call for sarcastic viewers who know how, and when, to laugh. Finally, we have a far more sophisticated audience today than in the past, one that sees more clearly behind the manipulations and stagecraft of its political leaders.

This was true even thirty-three years ago, when Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” kicked off the modern form of news parody.Back then, of course, real anchors exuded TV’s version of gravitas and solidity.The SNL Update was just milking anchors’ self-seriousness for laughs.Maddow asks the “awkward question,” as she puts it: Is Blago not well?She riffs a bit and then concludes, with a sarcastic smile, “Illinois, you are getting almost as fun to cover as Alaska!Stewart (and Craig Kilborn before him) was a comic first and foremost—when The Daily Show started, the news was the surprising part.Maddow’s show works the opposite way: the news is the thing and the humor is the surprise.Political caricatures have been an American staple since the Colonial period.In the late nineteenth century, these sorts of illustrations tended to be scathing social critiques.At the 30 Rock news television studio, with its red, white, and blue décor, late-night assistants running about, and two dozen television screens on all around her, Maddow seems in her element.And when the show begins, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is devoted to “Blago”—the thoroughly and hilariously embarrassing (and now former) Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.


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