Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era. Jonathan Gray, Jeffrey P. Jones, and Ethan Thompson, eds. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2009. 283 pp.
Humor is delicate to dissect. If you explain a joke, it may cease to be funny and the humor falls apart. But taking apart satire leads to understanding humor’s critical capacity to attack and disarm its subjects. This is especially true when it comes to the politically and socially oriented humor addressed in Satire TV. Dissecting satire—and similar humor tropes such as parody and irony —requires careful work. And the editors as well as authors of this collection do just that, working to understand satire as a form of critique, as challenger to the status quo of news and politics, and as contributor to political and civic discourses.