In the past decade various studies have examined how political humor may influence various political attitudes and voting behavior; whether it affects learning, cognition and media literacy, how it might shape political participation; how people process different forms of political humor; and more. This book is devoted to anticipating and addressing where the field of political humor and its effects will move in the next generation of scholarship, exploring the continued evolution of the study of political humor as well as the normative implications of these developments. It includes research accounting for important changes and developments "on the ground" in the political humor landscape. These include the fact that the cadre of late-night television hosts have completely changed in the past 3 years; there are now more late night television choices; and many hosts have become more overtly political in their presentations. Recommended for scholars of communication, media studies, and political science.
Jody C Baumgartner is Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of political science at East Carolina University.
Amy B. Becker is associate professor in the Department of Communication at Loyola University Maryland.
Introduction: Still Good for a Laugh? Political Humor in a Changing Media Landscape
Jody C Baumgartner and Amy B. Becker
Section I: Comedy, Advocacy, Journalism, or Something Else Entirely? It’s Not Just Entertainment Anymore
Chapter 1: The Rise of Advocacy Satire
Don J. Waisanen
Chapter 2: Journalist or Jokester? An Analysis of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Julia R. Fox
Chapter 3: Partisan Trends in Late Night Humor
S. Robert Lichter and Stephen J. Farnsworth
Section II: Impacting Citizenship: The Effects of Exposure to Political Comedy on Democratic Engagement
Chapter 4: The Limits of Attitude Change: Political Humor during the 2016 Campaign
Jody C Baumgartner
Chapter 5: Interviews and Viewing Motivations: Exploring Connections between Political Satire, Perceived Learning, and Elaborative Processing
Amy B. Becker
Chapter 6: Inoculation against/with Political Humor
Section III: Humor Appreciation: Audience Responses to Political Comedy
Chapter 7: The Political Ethology of Debate Humor and Audience Laughter: Understanding Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Their Audiences
Patrick A. Stewart, Reagan Dye, and Austin Eubanks
Chapter 8: The Joke is on You: Satire and Blowback
Sophia A. McClennen
Chapter 9: What is Funny to Whom? Applying an Integrative Theoretical Framework to the Study of Political Humor Appreciation
Section IV: It’s Gone Global: International Perspectives on Political Comedy
Chapter 10: Political Entertainment in Comparative Perspective: Exploring the Applicability of the Gateway Hypothesis across Media Systems
Michael A. Xenos, Patricia Moy, Gianpietro Mazzoleni, and Julian Meuller-Herbst
Chapter 11: The Causes and Consequences of Affinity for Political Humor
Chapter 12: Freedom of the Press in Israeli and American Satire
Section V: Prospects for a New Generation of Laughter: The Evolution of Political Comedy
Chapter 13: A New Generation of Satire Consumers?: A Socialization Approach to Youth Exposure to News Satire
Stephanie A. Edgerly
Chapter 14: The Context for Comedy: Presidential Candidates and Comedy Television
Chapter 15: The Ides of September: Jimmy Fallon, Donald Trump, and the Changing Politics of Late Night Television
Jonathan S. Morris
Conclusion: Looking Ahead to the Future: Why Laughing Will Matter Even More in the Decade to Come
Amy B. Becker and Jody C Baumgartner
About the Contributors
In Political Humor in a Changing Media Landscape: A New Generation of Research, Baumgartner and Becker have succeeded in compiling a theoretically and methodologically rich body of work from today's preeminent scholars of political humor and satire. The volume features cutting edge experimental and survey research as well as content and rhetorical analysis to explore the predictors and effects of exposure to political humor and the strategic use of humor by political figures. This important work is a must-have for those working in the area of political humor content, processing, and effects.
This timely volume reflects the truly diverse and interdisciplinary nature of the study of political humor: a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches that update theory and understanding of humor in an increasingly hybrid media environment. That several chapters engage in comparative analyses makes the book valuable beyond the typical US context.
This book comes just at the right time. A critical mass of political humor scholarship has formed in the discipline and we need an assessment of where we stand at the moment. This edited collection provides researchers with a clear sense of what we know and what we need to address with continued research.