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Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, November 1:
In her book, A Conservative Walks Into a Bar: The Politics of Political Humor, Dr. Alison Dagnes writes that few stand-up comedians tell political jokes, mostly because many Americans don't follow politics that closely and wouldn't get the punchlines.
Dagnes, who teaches political science at Shippensburg University, also says the comics who do tackle political humor do so with more of a liberal point-of-view. There are a few exceptions like comedian Dennis Miller, who readily admits his views became more conservative after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Dr. Dagnes says that doesn't mean conservatives aren't funny but she has a theory on why there are more liberal joketellers.
Dagnes' research found that while most comedians may be liberal, the targets of the jokes are split across idealogical lines.
In the book, Dagnes describes the history of humor in American politics stretching back to the colonial era and how it has changed up to the present with TV programs like The Daily Show and the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
Dr. Alison Dagnes will discuss political humor on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk.
Listen to the program:
Dr. Alison Dagnes discusses humor in politics on Radio Smart Talk.
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