As the new US administration ricochets from ignorant via cruel to appalling, one group of entertainers are suddenly charged as never before to hold power to account and through the use of satire, standup and surgically delivered soliloquy, sound the alarm bells and also add perspective to what’s going on.
Finding ourselves in the hinder years of Johnny Carson, David Letterman and John Stewart, their successors have been propelled into tumultuous times, and have developed some brilliant routines and formats to help us stay informed, but also, just as we need it as never before… to laugh.
Here are our top five sources of political and social satire for this moment… To help keep us resisting and laughing together.
This stalwart of the Late Night world somehow never quite rivalled Jon Stewart’s pole position on his daily Show, but breaking out in 2005, he honed his own act in the pseudo-rightwing satirical Colbert Report. Incarnated now as his dry, lightning-quick and razor-sharp self on The Late Show, we’re watching a comedian and writer at the height of his wit.
The previous NYC-sided half of the Trans-Atlantic genius comedy Podcast ‘The Bugle’ with Andy Zaltsman, Brummie Oliver has recently hit career gold with his own HBO series ‘Last Week Tonight’. Setting his own tone by NOT being afraid of attempting 17 minute monologues on such hilarious subjects as Net Neutrality or Child Welfare are what make John authentic, concerned AND enjoyable watchable, all at once
Like the other ex-members of Spinal Tap (as Derek Smalls, just in case…), Shearer has gone on to created his own special flavours of comedy excellence, voicing many of the funniest Simpsons characters (Burns, Flanders, Smithers, Skinner and Reverend Lovejoy!) and hosting his seminal Radioshow now Podcast ‘Le Show’ every week for over 33 years. Apologies of the Week, News of the Warm and Karzai Talk are a few of the many highlights Harry has been delighting andscaring the crap out of listeners with the Truth for decades..
Following in the footsteps of the great man himself, any successor was going to be up against it on The Daily Show. Noah has in many ways lucked out with Trump, in his native South Africa has had to deal with the autocratic tendencies on an arseholic scale with Jacob Zuma for years. So, he comes prequalified to know what the US is in for, but also as a black South African, with a deep cultural heritage of such things… how to resist.
Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor (Pod Save America hosts)
These four ex-Obama administration friends have trailblazed the podcasting comedy landscape since January of this year with their cutting critiques of the new Idiot-in-Chief and his ramshackle crew of chaos seekers. ‘Pod Save America’ seems very fluid at 2 months old, but is only going good places with its experts’ views of what’s going on. Yes, we still like experts’ views.