Eligible voters today, looking for a good laugh, sometimes turn on night shows to find their news or listen to an amusing interpretation of the day’s events. Unlike just a few decades ago, talk show hosts focus much of their show on bashing politicians, including the president and candidates running against him. The reason for this includes hope that their remarks excite some sort of change. According to Sophia McClennen, professor of international affairs and comparative literature, satire provides insight into the human condition while including a political angle.
“Satire is different from typical political humor because it demands critical reflection on the part of the audience, so the laughter isn’t the end of the joke,” she said.
Comedy hosts and shows such as Steven Colbert, SNL, Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel play an important role in the media environment but also the political one. Their mix of news and comedy helps attract young voters which is important because they vote the least in each election. According to phys.org, talk shows today have grown in popularity, so much so that young viewers site it as a news source.
Another way hosts use political satire includes campaigning and raising money for prevalent issues. Not only do these gain followers, but people also spend money to back the campaign and in turn, donate to these issues.
Night show hosts become more important as the rise of polarized political parties more directly affect democracy because they share their strong opinions to viewers. In doing so, people may form their opinions based off of what they see from the show. But because most shows hold similar views on rising political issues, many young viewers often only get one side of the issue.