Monday, March 06, 2017

"It's more important than it's ever been that we prick the powerful"

Last month, I ventured that satirical shows like The Day Today and Brass Eye would have difficulty finding room to manoeuvre these days given the extraordinary bullshit that is routinely spouted by politicians and reported in the mainstream news media. Here, however, the Guardian's Nadia Khomami effectively argues the precise opposite, pointing to the increased circulation figures of Private Eye in the UK and the resurgent popularity of Saturday Night Live in the US as evidence that the business of satire is, in fact, booming.

What's more, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop agrees, describing the current period as "a golden time": "People are so gloomy they want something to laugh at. They are also interested in a take that isn't too obvious, the old inform and entertain ... At the moment, just about everything makes good satire."

I'm not sure I agree with the desire for satire being primarily escapist, and would certainly question the suggestion that "just about everything makes good satire". As stand-up comic Tiff Stevenson, also quoted in Khomami's article, says, "the weird thing about Trump is you almost run out of ways to satirise him because he's self-satirising".

And yet she's probably also right in claiming that there's nevertheless a value in continuing to mock egotistical buffoons like Trump and Paul Nuttall, simply because it's a direct challenge to their puffed-up sense of self.

(Thanks to Kat for the link.)

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