I was on this panel a few weeks ago at The New School. I've done lots of comedy/satire in politics panels in my three years at The Onion, from the UCB to Google and beyond. I think this is the best one yet. I was honored to share the stage with
- two of The Gregory Brothers, who are as gracious and thoughtful as they are hilarious and technically talented
- to my left (in more ways than one) is author Steve Almond. I'd met him years ago at the Somerville Theatre in Massachusetts, and he easily earned the title of "professor" during the 90 minute segment.
- to my right is Dan Powell, a former producer from both Colbert and The Daily Show, now currently with Ugly Americans.
We covered a lot of topics including, but not limited to:
- The role/value/purpose of the Colbert and Stewart rallies on October 30th (I'll be there!)
- The role of satire as a conveyer of information
- The history of "the media," and was there ever really a glory day from which we've allegedly fallen?
- How our work has had an impact overseas
- Hate mail
- Does making fun of politics let us off the hook for- or too easily distract us from actually doing political action, and what is the responsibility of the comedian or satirist?
- More heavy shit like the above but in a completely funny way. really.
Here's the official description:
Comedy and politics have gone together for a long time, and in this age, political comedy is everywhere. We have reached a point where instead of just mocking the news, the comedian Jon Stewart was ranked as America's most trusted news source by participants in a Time magazine online poll. How does comedy influence politics? Do jokes about politicians create their image, or just reflect what people already believe? Does political comedy lead people to be more critical of politicians or just more cynical? Join us for this conversation about the influence of comedy on politics.
This event will feature The Gregory Brothers, from YouTube and Barely Political fame for their Auto-Tune the News videos; Baratunde, the web editor of The Onion and co-founder of the blog Jack & Jill Politics; Dan Powell from Comedy Central's show Ugly Americans; and Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal and Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life. Sponsored by the Graduate Program in International Affairs
Thanks so much to Lorena Ruiz at The New School for having us!