1st Edition

The Rhetoric of Brexit Humour Comedy, Populism and the EU Referendum

By Simon Weaver Copyright 2022
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    Since 2016 there has been an outpouring of humour, comedy and satire on the United Kingdom’s EU Referendum and decision to leave the EU, or Brexit. This book examines the relationship between Brexit and its comedy, exploring how Brexit and comedy are connected in both Leave and Remain discourse.

    It argues that both populism and comedy are rhetorical in nature and so are linked through their semantic structure and communicative potential. Considering the incongruities that Brexit presents for British society, the author analyses the populism that has emerged from those incongruities in the form of ironic, ambiguous and dichotomous discourse. Through the analysis of a range of comedy on the EU Referendum and Brexit, including material from stand-up and situation comedy, and political satire of various types, The Rhetoric of Brexit Humour examines the way in which comedy acts as a rhetoric that draws on, supports and attacks the discourses of Brexit. This provides not just an advance in our understanding of political satire but also a clearer description of the nature of populism.

    This book will appeal to sociologists, political scientists, media and communications scholars, and anyone interested in Brexit, populism and comedy.

    Introduction: Brexit, Comedy and Populism

    1. Leave or Remain? Unpacking the Dichotomies of the EU Referendum and Brexit Populism 

    2. Brexit, Irony and Populist Politics 

    3. Brexit Populism, Trickster Irony and Comic Responses

    4. Brexit Anti-Populism, Caricature and Critique

    5. Brexit, Social Class and Comedy

    6. "Brexit Means Breakfast": The Language of Brexit and Comedy

    7. Incongruity, Transition and the Shifting Landscape of Brexit Britain

    Conclusion: Politics and Satire in Post-Referendum Britain


    Simon Weaver is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications at Brunel University London, UK. He is also the author of The Rhetoric of Racist Humour.

    'Briefly put, this title is an important addition to humour studies, and I warmly recommend it to every scholar in the field … a showcase piece on how to construct painstaking and dispassionate academic research.' - Jarno Hietalahti, The European Journal of Humour Research