978-0-7391-6697-0 • Paperback • March 2012 • $57.99 • (£45.00)
978-0-7391-7414-2 • eBook • March 2012 • $52.00 • (£40.00)
Patrick A. Stewart is assistant professor of political science at the University of Arkansas.
Chapter 1: Laughing matters on the campaign trail: Humor and laughter in
the 2008 presidential primary debates
Chapter 2: Laugh codes: Serious thoughts about humorous comments and the
politicians who make them
Chapter 3: Laughing all the way to the bank: Audience laughter, media, and
Chapter 4: Punchline politics: Laughter and humor during primary
Chapter 5: Funny faces: Presidential candidate display behavior
Chapter 6: “Likeable enough”: Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, John McCain,
and Barack Obama
Chapter 7: Playful politicians: Why laughter and humor matters in the rough-and-tumble world of politics
Appendix: Inter-coder reliability
This analysis of a unique and rich data set sheds light on how citizens come to judgment and moves the frontier of empirical political humor research forward. Stewart has written a book that is both timely, given the increased amount of political humor available to individuals in this cable TV and Internet age, and provocative.
— Jody C Baumgartner, East Carolina University
This is a careful, scientific look at the underrated role that humor plays in politics. Grounded in evolutionary principles, the author's highly original research offers a novel perspective of contemporary U.S. politicians and parties. Anyone interested in political campaigns and personal appeal in general will find this book consistently enlightening.
— Glenn Weisfeld, Wayne State University
Quietly over the past several years, a new specialty has emerged in political science on the influence of political humor in electoral politics. With Debatable Humor, Patrick Stewart establishes himself as an important voice in this new terrain—and he delivers. Drawing on evolutionary biology and social influence theory, Stewart lays out an empirically grounded, insightful case for why political humor and the nonverbal communication that accompanies it matters on the campaign trail. The insights from this innovative research show the serious side of humor and laughter in presidential politics and broaden our understanding of how candidates are perceived: not by words alone.
— Erik Bucy, Associate Professor, Adjunct, Indiana University, Vice President, Research, SmithGeiger LLC; author, Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections