Donald Trump: The World's First TV President

When the president gets his primary information from talking heads on cable TV rather than intelligence briefings, we have a problem.

Until now, the relationship of the President of the United States to the TV had been predictable. The President made news, and satirists made fun of the President. The President did not watch the satirists because he had, um, more important things to do. Well, life comes at you fast. Today, perhaps the most reliable way to communicate with the President is to appear on a cable news show. The poor quality of these programs — especially their habit of featuring unqualified opinion in the interest of balanced reporting — has made maintaining an informed national conversation very difficult. And that was before the President was citing Joe Schmucko from Illinois! Adam Mansbach's most recent book (co-authored with Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel) is For This We Left Egypt?.

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Every Joke Falls in One of 11 Categories, Says Founding Editor of The Onion

The Onion founding editor Scott Dikkers says every joke can be categorized in one of 11 "funny filters."

Will Ferrell laughs at a ceremony. (Photo: Robyn Beck)

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When Does Political Correctness Become Orwellian?

Limiting speech doesn't change the nature of hate, says Josh Lieb. Thoughts can be hateful and stupid—but should they be criminal?\r\n

Josh Lieb is an absolutist when it comes to freedom of speech. As a comedy writer and producer on late night programs like The Daily Show and The Tonight Show, he knows that the freedom to essentially roast leading political figures is vital to true democracy. Jokes made in bad taste may worry you, but you should be absolutely petrified if you’re not hearing jokes and satire at all. It’s the same for hate speech, says Lieb: limiting expression has never changed the nature of hate, it only leads to an Orwellian path—and it’s during these exact moments in history, when the political divisions are so high, that thought criminalization and oppressive control find their way in. Josh Lieb is the author of I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President and Ratscalibur.

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Is the Fruit of Political Humor Hanging Too Low?

In comedy there is always the temptation to go for the easy jokes – but now, more than ever, comedians have to challenge themselves.

What’s that smell? It’s political humor in 2017, according to Josh Lieb, former producer and writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. "There's always a temptation in comedy to go for the low hanging fruit, to go for the easy jokes. And right now it's not even that the fruit is low-hanging – it's on the ground, it's rotting on the ground," says Lieb. When your grannie gets on Twitter to ridicule the current administration, she’s as funny as someone who’s studied and performed comedy for a decade. Political absurdity is stealing the comedic limelight, and comedians must evolve and aim much higher. Josh Lieb is the author of I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President and Ratscalibur.

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Here's What 19th-Century American Cartoonists Thought of Russia

Way before there was Cracked or Mad magazine, there was Puck, a weekly satirical publication that came out of St. Louis, Missouri in 1871. Here are some of the incredible full-color illustrations of that era's political issues. 

 

Disappointment / Keppler. 1898 (Image: Picryl)

Way before there was Cracked or Mad magazine, there was Puck, a weekly political satire publication out of St. Louis, Missouri. The founder of Puck, Joseph Ferdinand Keppler, published it in English and German, and each issue included several full-color illustrations: on the cover, on the background and on a double-page centerfold. Puck’s images were full of pawky humor that illustrated the political aspects and world line-up before the First World War. By 1884, its success was notable, with a circulation of at least 125,000 copies.

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