Dubious Pundits: Presidential Politics, Late-Night Comedy, and the Public Sphere

Author:   Nicole Michaud Wild
Publisher:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498567367


Pages:   180
Publication Date:   15 May 2019
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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Dubious Pundits: Presidential Politics, Late-Night Comedy, and the Public Sphere


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Overview

Over the last decades of the 20th century, and into the 21st, humor on late-night TV became a more influential part of the United States' political conversations. Not only did viewers talk about what the shows were saying, but serious journalists in newspapers and television news did as well. This book explores how Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert became popular pundits, with their commentaries often being shown on the news or quoted in the papers, and how Tina Fey's parody of Sarah Palin eclipsed the real life candidate herself. This transformation occurred after the attacks on 9/11 and the beginning of the War in Iraq, when comedy figures were often more critical and informative than traditional news sources. At the same time, they became more substantive in their critiques than political humor often had been in the past, which relied heavily on mocking political candidates' personality quirks. Using transcripts from Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report during the presidential elections from 1980-2008, this book takes a comprehensive look at how the comedy itself transformed. In addition, the analysis includes how journalists in the Washington Post and the New York Times discussed the shows at the time, revealing how they once denigrated the programs, but came to regard them as valuable narrative resources.

Full Product Details

Author:   Nicole Michaud Wild
Publisher:   Lexington Books
Imprint:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498567367


ISBN 10:   1498567363
Pages:   180
Publication Date:   15 May 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Forthcoming
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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Reviews

This is a fantastic and well-timed study of entertainment and its growing influence in the public sphere. Dubious Pundits persuasively shows how television comedy has moved into the center of debate about politics and important public issues. Political satire shows have changed in important ways, moving away from the more superficial style of personal comedy and toward increasingly nuanced policy-focused themes. As the comedy has changed, journalism has taken notice. It is not only the case that news today looks more like entertainment; it is also that entertainment looks more like news. -- Ronald N. Jacobs, University at Albany Dubious Pundits offers a critical history of political humor on US television. Nickie Wild tells the story of how late night comedy came to set the political agenda and reshaped the U.S. public sphere. From the Smothers Brothers to SNL, and from David Letterman to John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the book is a must-read for those who seek to understand the current political climate and the central role of humor in public life. -- Eleanor Townsley, Mount Holyoke College


This is a fantastic and well-timed study of entertainment and its growing influence in the public sphere. Dubious Pundits persuasively shows how television comedy has moved into the center of debate about politics and important public issues. Political satire shows have changed in important ways, moving away from the more superficial style of personal comedy and toward increasingly nuanced policy-focused themes. As the comedy has changed, journalism has taken notice. It is not only the case that news today looks more like entertainment; it is also that entertainment looks more like news. -- Ronald N. Jacobs, University at Albany


Author Information

Nickie Michaud Wild is visiting lecturer of sociology at Mount Holyoke College.

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