This unprecedented look at the history of satire in America showcases the means by which our society is informed by humor—from the way we examine the news, to how we communicate with each other, to what we seek out for entertainment. From biographical information to critical reception of material and personalities, the book features humorists from both literary and popular culture settings spanning the past 100 years.
Through its 180 entries, this comprehensive volume covers a range of artists—individuals such as Joan Rivers, Hunter S. Thompson, and Chris Rock—and topics, including vaudeville, cartoons, and live performances. The content is organized by media and genre to showcase connections between writers and performers. Chapters include an alphabetical listing of humorists grouped by television and film stars, stand-up and performance comics, literary humorists, and humorists in popular print.
- Provides a context, vocabulary, and perspective to better appreciate and understand American humor
- Connects historical developments to cultural changes
- Includes both academic references and popular works
- Covers a wide range of artists over a variety of media
- Examines and explains general trends in American comedy