September 13, 1987 |
Did you hear the one about President Chun Doo Hwan and four other guys in a submarine? You will here, along with variations involving a lifeboat and an airplane. But there is not a lot of political humor in South Korea, mainly because there has not been a lot of politics in nearly four decades of independence. The targets have been few, and skins have been thin.
August 27, 2000 |
Some of the best coverage of the Republican and Democratic national conventions came not from a news source, but from a fake one--Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." For two weeks, the cable series hosted by Jon Stewart dispatched its straight-faced correspondents onto the convention floors in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and mocked leaders, delegates, the news media--and most of all the notion that something of social import was actually taking place. It was all a lot of fun.
January 19, 2001 |
Washington, D.C., won't have Clinton to kick around on Inauguration Day--Kate Clinton, that is. The comedian (no relation to Bill), whose biting political commentary resounds from stages across the country to the news desks at CNN, will kick off her 20th year in show biz at the Long Beach Center Theatre on Saturday, coincidentally coinciding with festivities in the nation's capital. "It was either come to Long Beach or get some bail money together and go to D.C.
August 23, 2010 |
Shortly before his 2004 suicide, the wry American monologist Spalding Gray was asked after a New York show how his humor was received overseas. He recalled a presentation he'd recently given in Europe that hadn't received a single chuckle over a two-hour period — ouch! — after which he'd overheard two audience members remark, "My, those Americans sure like talking about themselves. " Humor may be easily lost in translation, but sociologists, artists and political pundits say it also offers insight into how an individual or society sees itself.
November 18, 2011 |
Every week, Kim Ou-joon does what was once unthinkable in South Korea: He gleefully lampoons the president. At the start of a recent installment of Kim's wildly popular political podcast, "Naneun Ggomsuda," or "I'm a Weasel," the narrator intoned with mock-solemnity: "Wall Street is occupied by protesters while Korea is peaceful and quiet. That's natural because Korea is heaven on earth! "Our president can cross the river on a bridge of fallen autumn leaves. " Next, listeners heard the name of President Lee Myung-bak repeated in a series of goofy vocal stylings that alternately imitated Alvin the Chipmunk, whining children and, finally, Bela Lugosi.
January 6, 1997
Steve Hammel's commentary on the vicious nature of current political humor hits the nail on the head. Humor once considered too gross or "blue" for network TV is now freely directed at President Clinton and his character, not to mention that of Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. In particular, nightly references by David Letterman to the president's sexual, eating and personal habits frequently cross the line of decency. If we are to expect politicians to clean up their acts regarding "dirty" campaigns, maybe we ought to start with our political humor.