The laughter in politics: comedians in today’s political climate


Britni Dunn

Comedy is becoming increasingly prevalent in society, with rising political and social tensions, people find solace in laughter. There are a surge of comedians entering the spotlight to make light of worldy issues, which helps bring a positive outlook to grim situations. Comedy has always been a coping mechanism for people experiencing hard times; Saturday Night Live could not have survived over 40 years without peoples’ need to laugh and forget about their issues. Comedy can be found anywhere and stand up comedy specials are increasing in popularity.

John Mulaney is a comedian who is rising in pop culture. With three stand up comedy specials on Netflix, he has reached a vast audience. His spotlight style of comedy is appealing to people today because of his relatable attitude. He portrays himself as a man who is insecure, desperate to be liked, and a tad naive. He speaks to all ages; anyone can laugh at the stories he tells. In Mulaney’s most recent special, “Kid Gorgeous,” he shares a hilarious tale of him at a school assembly, “street smarts,” as he runs back and forth across the stage. His manic stage presence is what draws people in; he performs naturally, which allows viewers to have a sense of familiarity while watching his stand up.

Daniel Sloss is a comedian who is even more outlandish than Mulaney. He is a Scottish performer who recently has had two stand up specials on Netflix. Sloss is a breakout comedian due to the content of his stand up: making light of subjects like the death of his sister, toxic relationships, and the uncertainty of life and love. Sloss has caused a wave of divorces and breakups due to his advice in the comedic special, “Jigsaw,” about ending relationships that are convenient yet unhealthy. Social media users seem to find Sloss’s skits impactful as they share messages with him almost daily about ending their relationships after watching the show. His style of comedy is raw and refreshing as his series tends to adhere to political issues in a light hearted manner.

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Metaphorical size of my head compared to the actual size of it.

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Another comedian involved in the fight for social change is Hasan Minhaj. Minhaj is a son of immigrant parents from India. As a political comedian, he vies for representation for various races and ethnicities. His first comedic special, “Homecoming King,” tells the story of his youth and the criticism he faced for his ethnicity.

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Do you have any idea how much paperwork this took? @patriotact premieres October 28th on @netflix!

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University students agree that comedy which aims to generate political and social change through laughter, is trending in society. “Everyone is scared of the current political climate, and satire makes it easier to adjust to it,” said Abby Elliot, University sophomore.

Comedy is an easily accessible art form as there is comedy in everything. People are comedians everyday without even realizing it. Making jokes and creating positive feelings is sometimes the best way to deal with a stressful day.

The University participates in comedy through the sketch comedy club, “Pace Comedy Live.” “Pace Comedy Live focuses on 3 forms of comedy – sketch, improv, and standup and offers members of the Pace community the chance to perform at whatever skill or commitment level they are,” said sketch comedy President, Abigail Schories, University junior. “This club is great for comedy hobbyists and aspiring professionals. We’ll be having three shows this semester and will be posting on our social media accounts, @pacecomedylive on Facebook and Instagram and @telluswerefunny on Twitter!” This club can be accessed for anyone looking for a creative outlet, as society it seems, enjoys the therapy of laughter.