Has Political Comedy Lost Its Edge?

“Many Americans, it’s often remarked, who don’t read the papers get their news from the likes of Jon Stewart and David Letterman. Comedy needn’t have a political purpose. It can just be funny. But at its best, political humor can be subversive, pushing the world in at least a different direction. Rush Limbaugh, a former deejay, who is as much a humorist as polemicist, had this effect 10 years ago, though probably not any more. But, in general, because political comedy is so pervasive, it may have lost much of its ability to be persuasive. With political comedy now 24/7, it’s startling to be reminded that the art form, as we know it, didn’t exist until about 40 years ago.”