Over the last few decades, the influence of comedy on power has increased (Martin 2001, p. 507). On a regular basis, social media, YouTube videos, and other online platforms confront political subjects and satirise political candidates. Political comedy shows are associated with power because they convey amusing perspectives with respect to the current political events (Weitz 2009, p. 56).
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Humorous political shows have become sources of updates and information. The essay below argues that comedy acts as a political communication tool, prompts political viewpoints, and triggers political engagements. As such, the essay will begin by illustrating how political comedy plays a role in communication. Following this, it will illustrate how political humour has fostered democracy.
Thereafter, it will indicate how humour encourages the public to pay greater consideration to political information. Exposure to political comedy encourages audience to base its political reviews on behaviours made more noticeable through comical shows. By illustrating how informed citizens exhibit a certain political advantage against other people who are politically unenthusiastic, the essay finally focuses on factors that determine the effects of comedy on power.
Comedy as a communication tool
Political comedy plays a powerful role in communication. The creativity that makes people laugh has been viewed as an important tool for political communication (Martin 2001, p. 510). The entertainers are reaping from the art as the investors pay them while advertising their commodities (Weitz 2009, p. 56). The art has grown to be a powerful item that is important in every aspect of our lives. The above and more evidences give the connection between comedy and power (Becker 2010, p. 235).
The significance of comedy, as a tool of political communication, is extensively accepted. As such, the relationship between exposure to political comedy and power has been well documented. Exposure to political comedy boosts learning and impacts outlooks. Political humour is not just an alternate bulletin source, but also an exceptional communicative platform that increases effortful dispensation and intellectual engagement (Weitz 2009, p. 57).
Through this, it enhances knowledge and attitude restraint. In addition, the strongest impacts are foreseen not among uninterested populaces incidentally exposed to facts, but among reasonably cultured viewers with the ability to understand and acknowledge comical messages (Deveau 2012, p. 408). In the absence of political humour, such individuals normally lack enthusiasm to think intensely about politics.
Becker (2010, p. 237) asserts that information is best delivered by press releases, which are enlightening and appealing. However, the decrease in the number of audiences illustrates that the customary media firms’ power to influence the public is dwindling. In this regard, an understanding of the relationship between power and politics is essential. Currently, more individuals are progressively deserting customary hard news media and shifting their attention to other substitute sources for info (Becker 2010, p. 238).
The above shift illustrates that political comedy is increasingly becoming a basis of political information. Humour reduces the political knowledge fissure by decreasing motivational and source obstacles to knowledge acquisition (O’Shannon 2012, p.179). Comedy inspires audiences to search for additional evidence from the media they perceive to be prejudiced and unreliable. Humour attracts attention to pertinent politically prompts. Based on the above illustrations, it is apparent that comedy offers not only more prospects to stay conversant about politics, but also diverse platforms, through which political information can be conveyed.
How comedy has fostered democracy
Hypothetically, comedy and sarcasm can undertake a very vital role in the political culture. As such, if democracy is to thrive, it requires the public to be attentively sceptical with their politicians, administrations, and governments (Calmus & Caillies 2014, p. 48). According to comedy theories, evils in society are supposed to be highlighted through mockery.
The vices are mocked with the aim of embarrassing persons and the public into improvement. In this respect, comedy acts as a political weapon. Comedy can also illustrate more about politics than news reports or scholars can do (Calmus & Caillies 2014, p. 50). The above is true because comedy is not restricted by reference to sources and the necessity to be factual to their evidences (Calmus & Caillies 2014, p. 48). Similarly, comedy attracts a larger audience than correspondents or academics do.
Generally, comedians encourage the members of the public to make fun of politics (Miles 2014, p.101). More habitually, comedy is perceived to be anti-political. Comedians inspire spectators to laugh at political figures and scorn them as an end in itself. Politicians are portrayed as being financially crooked, ethically crooked, and liars. Undeniably, few politicians are liars and double-dealers. Nevertheless, the overall picture illustrated by the comedians with respect to our political figures is wrong (O’Shannon 2012, p.178). However, the perception is convenient because it implies that the voters are not accountable for the reason that they are all the victims of erroneous politics.
How political comedy encourages the public to pay greater consideration to political information
Researches focusing on the effects of comedy on power indicate that exposure to political humour can result in constructive and modest results (Calmus & Caillies 2014, p. 48). Exposure to political humour programs results in higher levels of acknowledgment, which necessitates a peripheral attention in politics over the more considerate and intricate process of remembrance. Additionally, a current examination of up to 30 political information items presented in the National Annenberg Election Study established that exposure to comedy among the citizens resulted in knowledge gain (Calmus & Caillies 2014, p. 49).
The same research found that exposure to political humour aroused concentration to news broadcasting content amongst individuals who were less interested in politics (Calmus & Caillies 2014, p. 49). Data collected by the Pew Research Centre during the year 2004 elections illustrates that political humour has a huge effect on knowledge gain among the voters (Miles 2014, p.101).
In this regard, it is apparent that exposure to political humour during political campaign periods enhances an understanding about the politicians among the voters. The illustrations also suggest that political comedy encourages the public to pay greater consideration to party information offered to them by the political agents.
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Another relationship that exists between comedy and power illustrates that exposure to political humour makes the public to pay more prominence on politicians’ characters instead of their policies. The above fact implies that consistent exposure to political comedy can influence related attitudes toward leaders by making specific personalities more significant. However, it should be noted that prejudice and prior levels of political acquaintance moderate the effect of exposure.
Similarly, exposure to political comedy inspires audiences to base their appraisals of political contenders on personality behaviours made more noticeable through comical shows. Because relations exist between comedy and power, it is apparent that humour influences citizens’ political behaviours. In this regard, politicians can be able to utilise comical programs in persuading the public to vote for them during election campaigns.
While political comedy audience predominantly labels the humour programs as amusing rather than educational, viewers still recommend that the shows are both convincing and opinionated in orientation. A research on the effects of exposure to political comedy broadcasted before the 2008 election suggests that both Republican and Democratic audiences assessed the comical targets (Miles 2014, p. 100). Most viewers negatively rated John McCain. Another relation between comedy and power suggest that political humour enhances cynicism and engagement.
Exposure to political comedy promotes a more cynical viewpoint towards organizations and politicians. On the contrary, exposure to political comedy can help politicians enhance their personal attributes. Through this, comedy shapes political processes. A study by Deveau indicates how political comedy influences political processes by analysing the relations between comedy and political dissatisfaction.
The study suggests that exposure to shows, such as The Daily Show, endorses more pessimistic outlooks and a lack of confidence in government organizations among some viewers (Deveau 2012, p. 408). On the contrary, the same study indicates that exposure to The Daily Show has a constructive influence on rulings of internal political effectiveness.
Factors that determine the effects of comedy on power
A few factors determine the effects of comedy on power. The factors are the aggregate capacity of evidence one has and nature of the approaches resulting from these attentions (Weitz 2010, p. 34). The above factors form significant building blocks of citizen proficiency. Consequently, assessing the impacts of political comedy on learning and conceptual restraint tolerates the democratic costs of this non-customary method of political communication to be better comprehended. Well-informed individuals are obviously superior citizens.
They are in a better position to appreciate political addresses, distinguish the cost of political disagreements, establish and articulate rational outlooks that are expressive replications of individual welfares and beliefs, and come up with coherent political choices to progress goals (Martin 2001, p. 507). Because of this, informed citizens exhibit a certain political advantage against those citizens who are unenthusiastic and uninformed about public affairs and politics.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the above essay has emphasised that there is a close link between comedy and power. The paper has discussed that comedy acts as a tool of political communication. Exposure to political comedy boosts learning and impact outlooks. Political humour is not just an alternate bulletin source, but also an exceptional communicative platform that boosts effortful dispensation and intellectual engagement. Through this, it enhances knowledge and attitude restraint. It was also discussed that comedy reduces the political knowledge gap by decreasing motivational and source obstacles to knowledge acquisition.
In addition, the essay has illustrated that comedy inspires audiences to search for supplementary evidence from the media they perceive to be prejudiced and unreliable and attracts attention to pertinent politically prompts. The above also implies that constant exposure to political comedy can sway related attitudes toward leaders by making specific personalities more noteworthy.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that prejudice and prior levels of political acquaintance moderate the effect of exposure. Correspondingly, exposure to political comedy encourages audiences to base their appraisals of political contenders on personality behaviours made more noticeable through comical shows. Based on the above, it is apparent that comedy influences power in a number of ways.
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Deveau, D 2012, ‘The Aristocrats: Comedy, grotesqueries and political inversions of the masculine code’, International Journal of Humour Research, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 401-415.
Martin, R 2001, ‘Humour, laughter, and physical health: Methodological issues and research findings’. Psychological Bulletin, vol. 127, no. 4, pp.504-519.
Miles, T 2014, ‘The cultural set-up of comedy: Affective politics in the United States post 9/11, by Julie Webber’. Comedy Studies. vol. 4, no 33, pp.100-101.
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