Suddenly Funny

Remember back in July when the New York Times’ Bill Carter reported that political comedy was at a loss? When those late-night network comedy shows and those Comedy Central shows had nothing to laugh at in this election season?

Well, “Political Comedy is Winning, Big Time,” reports Carter in today’s Times. Saturday Night Live’s ratings are up fifty percent this season. In September, The Daily Show broke its own ratings records. “The comedy targets,” Carter writes, “led by Ms. Palin, are expecially rich.” (Which seems, particularly in light of Carter’s July article declaring Obama tough-to-mock, a “balanced” way of saying… “Ms. Palin is an especially rich comedy target.”)

Carter spent time in his July piece exploring why Obama might not be “funny” (maybe there’s nothing obvious about him to lampoon, maybe the mostly-white joke-writers feel squeamish about joking about a black candidate). In today’s piece, Carter doesn’t really get into why “Ms. Palin” is an “expecially rich” “comedy target” (beyond that SNL found the perfect person to play Palin).

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.