Keep the Offensive Comedy Coming

Why I Fell in Love With Joking About Taboo Topics

I have loved the art of stand-up comedy for as long as I can remember. I loved everything about it. The boldness. The nerve. The clever play on words. The astute observations it took to find a kernel of humor in even the most mundane of situations. I still believe that comedians are some of the smartest people on this planet.

Who else could take something everyday and simple and, with a seemingly effortless aside, raise it to a level of complexity that creates mind-shifts in the human psyche? Who …

With Rushmore, the Charm Is in the Details

The Quirky Style of Wes Anderson’s Breakout Film Still Draws a Fashionable Crowd

Upon its release in 1998, the indie comedy Rushmore cemented both director Wes Anderson’s reputation and co-star Bill Murray’s renaissance as patron saint of droll, sad-eyed, middle-aged men in crisis. …

When Bigoted Humor Isn’t Just a Joke

White Comedians Tiptoeing Around Racial Taboos Are Adding Insult to Injury

Over the last decade, I’ve studied the changing nature of race-talk among comedians, from the civil rights era to the present. Specifically, I’ve been interested in examining the use of …

The Enduring Barbershop Keeps It Real—and Real Funny

One of the First Comedy Classics of the 21st Century Found Plenty of Fans for a Friday Night Screening

Everyone in the audience, it seemed, had seen the movie before. But that didn’t mean the crowd arrayed on the lawn at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown …

How “The Donald” Trumps Satire

Supporters Aren't Laughing at the Overblown, Offensive, and Powerful Presumptive Presidential Nominee, They're Laughing With Him

Our four-year presidential cycle is also a four-year satire cycle: Nothing provides fodder for humorists like a presidential campaign. That’s especially true this year. But while all the candidates have …

Why American Satire Doesn’t Need Jon Stewart

The Daily Show Host Made an Old Tradition New Again—Which Is Why We’ll Do Just Fine without Him

Like the legions of other admirers of Jon Stewart, I’m eager to hear who will
succeed him at The Daily Show. In my research on political satire around the world, …