Is Political Comedy Being Reborn, Or Just Getting Shrill?

In a time of unusual partisan divide in the U.S., it’s no big surprise that some comedians are increasingly bringing their personal politics into their acts. But whereas political comedy has historically been focused on general themes so as not to appear to be overwhelmingly targeting any one ideology of individual, the new generation of political stand-ups are exceedingly personal. On the left, Janeane Garofalo and Al Franken rail against President Bush and the neoconservatives they believe pull his strings. On the right, Dennis Miller uses his CNBC talk show to ridicule the Democrats’ lack of toughness and original ideas. But is it still comedy, or just a new method of attacking the opposition?