Most people think that comedy is all about making people laugh; it is about originality and creativeness. Comedy aims at informing the audience that what they don’t believe can happen, and actually takes place. The most important element of comedy is speaking truth where truth is lacking. This is because people believe that truth sets them free. Therefore, where there are analysts, there must be mistruths and the basic requirement, which is satire. After watching this show, I realized that Jon Stewart is a gifted comedian who can use anything to ridicule something that media, government, politicians, or religious leaders do. Following Stewart’s first appearance on CNN’s Crossfire talk show that is hosted by both representatives from Democrats and Republicans to give their political views, nobody knew it would change way people think about his newly released book, America. It was extremely interesting to realize that instead of using the usual funny-man persona, he offers a scathing critique concerning the roles of the media. Another thing was that both the audience and host were left anticipating when Stewart was going to change the topic. Satire is remarkably essential in communicating serious issues in a manner that the person being scoffed at does not realize the real essence of the engagement, but receives the message in a polite manner. For instance, it is not easy to approach someone and tell him/her that, “you are a thief” when you have no proof. This is why for comedians and people should always use satire to send messages to the intended audience because it makes the interpretation of such messages clear.
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Boler (3) in his Journal says, “This is what is associated with a paradoxical awareness: on one hand, a postmodern sensibility of the world’s fiction, whereas on the other, an expression of public demand for honesty.” Through the appropriate use of words and being satirical, Stewart develops a stronger psychological connection between messenger and the audience. Through The Daily Show Stewart offers an insight to many people who might have missed the chance to listen and receive the message concerning the media, politics, and what he calls ‘truth to power’. This is well canvassed through satire and the Crossfire episode offers many people with an extensive discussion of issues that affect people’s lives.
Moreover, in most instances when we use satire to send messages, not everyone will be happy, but the fact is that the truth must be told through whatever means. This is why at some point the show burned a hole in the screen because it highlighted on the issues affecting the media profession, politics, among others (Speier, Hans, and Jackall, Robert 1356). After watching the show, one realizes that as much as the show highlights on real issues facing the common Americans or people generally, it also offers humor. In the end the audience receives the message they ought to receive. Through the Daily Show, Stewart addresses numerous issues using satires as his way of delivering message to his audience.
Satire plays an integral role in how we, leaders, and the media express its view regarding a certain issue. In most cases, everyone uses satire; even in courts the judges may use it without knowing. This mainly because it is a form of expression and people are likely to express their feeling in different ways. I remember when I was in my final year in the primary school, we used to laugh at one of our teacher because he could just come and sneak a look at us when it was time for physical education. After which we ran to the field and find him there already waiting for us. This is an incident that relates to how Stewart expresses himself when passing a message to his audience, one is likely to tell what his next move, thus, helps him to have ease in his presentation. Logically, the attention we receive from our audiences is usually the result of how humorous we are. I totally do not agree with this popular say because what matter is how you prepare your audience. Preparation of audience helps the narrator or the presenter to connect the stories, even if he/she was lost at some point.
Looking at a particularly incidence when host Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson invited Stewart to help him take a break from campaign politics, the talks within a short time had ascended or relapsed. However through a good sense of the tone and the context surrounding the events of that day, things changed for the better. However, I can say that Stewart appeared like a cool college roommate you bring home for ‘Thanksgiving’ only to face the parents’ bourgeois value. Stewart plays a role that depicts him as furious, however, Carlson realizes and goads Stewart to be funny by saying, “be funny. Come on, be funny,” Stewart retorts, “Am not going to be your monkey.” Another incidence is when Stewart was asked whether he hosted John Kery on his show and he sniffed his throne and accuses Carlson and Begala of partisan hackery, he responds, “Absolutely,” and when Carlson reacts that he is kidding, Stewart responds that, “You are on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.” What follows is laughter from the audience and the hosts.
Stewart uses his humorous effect to express his patriotic duty to speak, parody, ridicule all the falsities constructed. I realized this when he says, “I represent the distracted center….My comedy is not the comedy of the neurotic. It comes from the center. But it comes from feeling displaced from society because you’re in the center. We’re the group of fairness, common sense, and moderation…We’re clearly the disenfranchised center…because we’re not in charge.” (Stewart quoted in Jones: 114-15). According to the quote above, I feel that Stewart uses satire after he mirrors the critical views of his audiences or viewers. Since he cares for the common citizens, he therefore, occupies the status of hero for truth.
Another function that satire plays through fiction or real issues is that it the viewers receive a great pleasure when a public figure speaks on their behalf satirically. Through the use of wit, satire makes its point by employing exaggerations, travesty, parody, and grotesquery. Political satire or comedy makes fun of the particular situation and the opinion of the situation. Humor, therefore, helps rectify the situation by reminding both the mighty and the weak that they are not to be taken seriously. In line with my argument, demands for truthfulness can only be achieve through employing such kind of humor.
Finally, it is clear that the popular appeal of the Crossfire lies on the individual’s ability or courage to face issues by whichever means possibly, where Stewart uses satire. Crossfire therefore deserves attention as a manifestation of media coverage to serve as a tool amplification of public engagements. Anybody who watched the Crossfire episode of the Daily Show will unquestionably agree with me that Stewart’s use of satire plays an integral role in sending the intended message to his audience or viewers. People should, therefore, learn how and when to use satire since creation of humor is essential in making the viewers believe in what is being communicated. Luckily, a better example of one who uses satire at the appropriate time and where appropriate, Stewart.
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