In the political turmoil of mid-1990s Britain, a brilliant young comic named Harry Enfield set out to satirize the ideology and politics of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His parodies became famous. He wrote and performed a vicious sendup of the typical Thatcherite nouveau riche buffoon. People loved it. And what happened? Exactly the opposite of what Enfield hoped would happen. In an age dominated by political comedy, “The Satire Paradox” asks whether laughter and social protest are friends or foes.
An interesting dissection of satire and the effects it does (or doesn’t) have on society. Sadly, a lot of the best biting satire doesn’t have the effect that many of us would like it to have. How can we subtly change this to create more desirous effects? I’d like to delve more deeply into the paper he references.1 [pdf]
Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell) tries his best to keep contestants Sean Connery (Darrell Hammond), Justin Bieber (Kate McKinnon), Tony Bennett (Alec Baldwin), Burt Reynolds (Norm Macdonald) and Matthew McConaughey (Jim Carrey) in line.
A training exercise puts an agent's (Kenan Thompson) ability to distinguish between a threat (Beck Bennett, Leslie Jones, Jon Rudnitsky) and a harmless civilian (Aidy Bryant, Larry David, Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan) to the test.
President Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) calls Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Beck Bennett), Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (Alex Moffat) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Kate McKinnon).
White House press secretary Sean Spicer (Melissa McCarthy) and secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos (Kate McKinnon) take questions from the press (Bobby Moynihan, Kristen Stewart, Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, Alex Moffat, Mikey Day).
After the lecture I had the chance to meet him and chat, but the best part was the look on his face when I presented him my copy of Green Eggs and Ham for an autograph. He kindly obliged with the observation that he knew that “this” was coming eventually, but said that I was the first one to ask for a signature on this particular book.
He got his second opportunity just moments later when my freshman year roommate Gary showed up with his own copy. Who knew that we thought so much alike?