Trump and Satire: America’s Carnivalesque President and His War on Television Comedians

  • Alex Symons


This chapter suggests that President Donald Trump exhibits a “carnivalesque” comic persona and behavior which have instigated a war with America’s comedians on television. This study examines Trump’s use of comedy as a means of attack, his reactions to comic attacks, and the wide range of satire undermining him. This includes examining the belittling and “camping” satires of Trump on the “popular” network shows Saturday Night Live (NBC) and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS), as well as the more cerebral satires by HBO’s comedians Bill Maher and John Oliver. This study also examines Comedy Central’s “grotesque” parody by Anthony Atamanuik, and the distribution of satire on YouTube, including the “Sassy Trump” series by Peter Serafinowicz.


Carnivalesque Television Comedians Saturday Night Live (SNL) Political Comedy White House Correspondents 
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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Symons
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Arts and SciencesLIM CollegeNew YorkUSA

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