Humour as Politics

The Political Aesthetics of Contemporary Comedy

  • Nicholas Holm

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comedy book series (PSCOM)

Table of contents

About this book


This book argues that recent developments in contemporary comedy have changed not just the way we laugh but the way we understand the world. Drawing on a range of contemporary televisual, cinematic and digital examples, from Seinfeld and Veep to Family Guy and Chappelle’s Show, Holm explores how humour has become a central site of cultural politics in the twenty-first century. More than just a form of entertainment, humour has come to play a central role in the contemporary media environment, shaping how we understand ideas of freedom, empathy, social boundaries and even logic. Through an analysis of humour as a political and aesthetic category, Humour as Politics challenges older models of laughter as a form of dissent and instead argues for a new theory of humour as the cultural expression of our (neo)liberal moment. 


Comedy Laughter Satire Aesthetics Cultural Politics Awkward Absurd Liberalism The Daily Show Veep The Onion The Thick of It Seinfeld Friends The Office Jackass Borat The Simpsons South Park Family Guy

Authors and affiliations

  • Nicholas Holm
    • 1
  1. 1.School of English and Media StudiesMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

Bibliographic information