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Political Humor — The Legacy of an Open Society

George Bernard Shaw once said, “The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.” Well, at least there are a lot of material for political humor. Even if the global economy is practically crashing down around everyone, people can always enjoy political humor.

Understanding the Humor in Politics

People enjoy political humor because it is something that everyone can relate to. The public generally blames the government for everything, so everyone basically appreciates humor in politics. In truth, this particular source of hilarity is almost always delivered in a satire-like fashion. It is generally amusing and it does not disregard the real issue. In fact, it addresses whatever political issue is at hand. To fully appreciate and enjoy political humor, however, you should not regard it as an attack on a particular statesman or politician. Adopting this kind of thinking or attitude will prevent you from really appreciating this type of humor.

Instead of regarding it as an attack, think of it as a personal observation of the person delivering the satire-like lines. After all, underneath the surface humor lies the intent to bring forth an issue to promote change. If you are a politician and you have found yourself a favorite subject, you should consider the truth beneath the jokes and deal with it. Usually politicians who have kept an upright image of themselves are difficult subjects, so comedians generally avoid adopting them as topics.

Humor and Politics – They Go Hand in Hand

You can never have politics without a dash of humor. Political humor is not a new concept. Comedy in politics has been around for centuries. In fact, it is as old as politics itself. An example of ancient sense of humor is Lysistrata, a Greek play written by Aristophanes.

Political humor is actually a legacy of a free society. Unfortunately, there are still some countries that do not allow political ribbing and attempt to limit jokes. For example, Italian televisions are controlled by the government, so people cannot wholly enjoy political humor. A visiting dictator once asked former President Bill Clinton why he didn’t just arrest individuals who questioned and criticized the then President’s poor judgment. Fortunately, for comedians, the United States adheres to free speech.

Modern Political Comedy

Comedians are fairly inventive now days when it comes to this kind of humor. And now more tahn ever people truly enjoy political humor when they hear the jokes while they go about their business. They also appreciate political jokes more when they can relate to the comedian’s sentiments. This type of humor is fairly common during the election period. The comedians are at the top of their form dishing out satire after satire.

Political satire, however, varies from one comedian to another because the views of these people vary. The jokes will depend on how a comedian regards a particular official or the government itself. Nowadays, it is easy to enjoy political humor. Irreverent movies are practically flaying politicians alive.

Political humor exists in order to prevent the hubristic tendencies of politicians from developing. This particular humor has been around for centuries and as long as people enjoy the right to speak their mind, they will always enjoy political humor.