This book examines the role of humor in modern American politics.
Written by a wide range of authors from the fields of political science and communication, this book is organized according to two general topics:
Laughing Matters is an excellent text for courses on media and politics, public opinion, and campaigns and elections.
Section 1: Foundations: Humor and Politics 1. The Influence of "Infoenterpropagainment:" Exploring the Power of Political Satire as a Distinct Form of Political Humor Rachel Paine Caufield 2. Serious Comedy: The Expanding Boundaries of Political Discourse Geoffrey Baym 3. More than Laughing? Survey of Political Humor Effects Research Josh Compton Section 2: Political Humor in the World Beyond Television 4. Political Cartoons: Zeitgeists and the Creation and Recycling of Satirical Symbols Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen 5. New Humor, Old School Style: A Content Analysis of the Political Cues Offered by The Onion, on the 2000 and 2004 Elections Geoffrey Sheagley, Paula L. O'Loughlin, and Timothy Lindberg 6. Vote for Pedro: Film Comedy, Youth and Electoral Politics Eric Shouse and Todd Fraley 7. Air Amusement Vs. Web Wit: Comparing the Use of Humor in 2004 Political Advertising on Television and the Internet Monica Postelnicu and Lynda Lee Kaid 8. American Youth and the Effects of Online Political Humor Jody Baumgartner Section 3" "Ready for Prime Time?" Televised Political Humor 9. Our First Cartoon President: Bill Clinton and the Politics of Late Night Comedy David Niven, S. Robert Lichter, and Daniel Amundson 10. Political Punditry in Punchlines: Late Night Comics Take On the 2004 Presidential Debates Josh Compton 11. A Culture War in TV Land? The Sitcom Viewing Habits of Bush and Kerry Voters Peter L. Francia 12. The ABCs of the The Simpsons and Politics: Apathy of Citizens, Basic Government Leaders, and Collective Interests Nicholas Guehlstorf, Lars Hallstrom, and Jonathan Morris 13. Saturday Night Live and Presidential Elections Ben Voth 14. The Daily Show as The New Journalism: In Their Own Words Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Section 4: Does it Really Matter? The Effects of Late-night Televised Humor 15. Late-night Comedy Television Shows as News Sources: What the Polls Say Paul Brewer and Xiaoxia Cao 16. ‘It's Better than Being Informed': College-Aged Viewers of The Daily Show Brandon Rottinghaus, Kenton Bird, Travis Ridout, and Rebecca Self 17. The Political Effects of Late-Night Comedy and Talk Shows Patricia Moy 18: The Daily Show and Attitudes Toward the News Media Jonathan S. Morris and Jody Baumgartner 19. Conclusion: Why Political Humor is Serious Business Doris Graber