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Presidential Humor

  • By: Dan Schill
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Presidential humor refers to either the use of humor by presidents and presidential candidates or humorous images, texts, or expressions that mock, ridicule, or satirize presidents and presidential candidates. Presidential humor is a subset of political humor. Since its inception, the U.S. presidency has served as an important target and scapegoat for comedians, editorialists, and satirists. From Thomas Nast’s 19th-century political cartoons in Harper’s Weekly, to Will Rogers’s 1928 mock campaign for presidency in LIFE, to Stephen Colbert’s formation of a “Super PAC” on The Colbert Report during the 2012 presidential campaign, and in myriad other examples, humor has been central to how candidates run for office and how commentators criticize political leaders. According to the framework developed by David L. Paletz in his ...

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