Archivio per la categoria “English”

Editorial cartoonist

700.hqIn the United States, political satire is also common through the press: editorial cartoons, also known as political cartoons, are very popular. Editorial cartoons are illustrations containing commentaries that usually relate to current events or public figures; an artist who draws such images is known as an editorial cartoonist. They typically combine artistic skills, hyperboles and satire in order to draw attention to corruption and other social ills.

During the 19th century, the most important newspaper created editorial cartoons to express the publisher’s opinion on the politics of that time. imagesThomas Nest, who was a German-born American editorial cartoonist and caricaturist, is considered to be the father of American cartoons; among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Clausuntitleds and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party. He worked during the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era.

Political cartoons can usually be found on the editorial page of many newspapers, although a few are sometimes placed on the regular comic strip page.

Most cartoonists use visual metaphors and caricatures to address complicated political situations by showing the current event with a funny or emotional picture.

images (1)David Levine, who died in 2009, is considered the king of political satire. He was an American artist and an illustrator best known for his caricatures in The New York Review of Books. He is considered “The greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th century.” In addition to the New York Review of Books, for which he drew 3,800 sketches from 1963 to 2007, his illustrations have appeared in Time, Esquire, Playboy, The Nation, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker.

He is a milestone of political satire thanks to some biting caricatures, like that of the former US President Lyndon Johnson who lifts up his shirt to reveal a scar after a gall-bladder operation portraying the map of Vietnam.

In the field of modern editorial cartoons Jen Sorensen is one of the most esteemed editorial cartoonists. She writes Slowpoke, a weekly comic strip that often focuses on current events from a liberal prospective. Her strip was chosen for the Cartoonist With Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonist, an anthology published by Ted Rall, an American columnist, an editorial cartoonist and an author.581px-Ted_Rall His political cartoons appear in a multi-panel comic-strip format and they appear in 100 newspapers around the United States; he was also the President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists from 2008 to 2009.

Rell’s cartoons have appeared regularly in Rolling Stone, Time, Fortune and Men’s Health magazine.

QA-Jules-Feiffer-631Another important American cartoonist is Jules Feiffer, most notable for his long-run comic strip entitled Feiffer. In 1986, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartooning in the Village Voice; his cartoons and illustrations have also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker , Playboy  and the Nation.


American dad!

American-Dad-american-dad-877315_800_600American Dad! is an American adult animated sitcom crated by Mark Barker and it is broadcast on Fox.

American Dad! tells the stories of Stan, CIA agent and male stereotype of the American male, who has muscles and a passion for weapons. He lives with his wife (a blonde curvy housewife) and with his children Harvey, a pacifist and an environmentalist who is in contrast with his father, and Steve. There are also two strange characters: Roger, an alien that Stan hides without the Government’s permission, and Klaus, a goldfish that has been transplanted a German brain.

This heterogeneous and funny group discloses with irony the contradictions of American society: the political and social satire of American Dad! answer to no one and they try to show the world, but especially to Americans, the most comical sides of US culture.

Stand-up comedy

2933940_origAmerican political satire is also common in theatres, thanks to stand-up comedy, that is a comical style in which a comedian performs in front of a live audience. The performer is known as a comic or stand-up comedian.

In North American stand-up comedy has its roots in various traditions of popular entertainment of the late 19th century.

imagesCAC3BIKRThe founders of modern American stand-up comedy include Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Fred Allen and Frank Fay; they spoke directly to the audience as if they were speaking to themselves.

Between 1950 and 1960, comedians added elements of social satire and expanded satire into politics, race relations and sexual humor. imagesCAVNQYVCbill-cosbyOther notable comedians from this period include Woody Allen, Shelley Berman and Bob Newhart; some Black-Americans like Bill Cosby and Dick Gregory began to cross over to a white audience during this time.

From 1970 to 1990, other important stand-up comedians emerged, like Robin Williams, Eddy Murphy, Dave Foley, Todd Grass and Joe Regan.imagesCAW0BD2S

South Park

South_Park_Season_14It’s an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Developed between 1992 and 1995 and created for mature audience, the show has become famous for its crude language and dark, surreal humor that lampoons a wide range of topics.

The ongoing narrative revolves around four boys, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick, and their bizarre adventures in and around South Park, in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

The series has received numerous accolades, including four Primetime Emmy Awards and many inclusions in a lot of publication lists of greatest television shows.

Through satire, South Park talks about American politics and current events and it seeks to debunk taboos of the society, often using parody.

It is focused on many taboos and believes rooted in the society; child abuse is a recurring theme, including homosexuality, death and political events.

Not only moralists and conservatives suffer from the strong satire of Parker and Stone: topics such environment, pollution and global warming are often handled.

South-Park-Screen-7In the United States, the cartoon has been heavily criticized by religious groups, that judges it morally insulting and anti-American.

In Italy, the series received the same treatment: it was “censored” by a non-literal dubbing, and later with increase in criticism, it was totally censored in some episodes, until the total abolition of the fourth season.

Later, the Italian Comedy Central and MTV Italy have started to broadcast the series from the fifth season without censorship.

The Onion

tumblr_lewcsekmAv1qzpxq3o1_500Internet has also seen the creation of The Onion, an American news satire organization.

It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on national, international and local news. The Onion’s articles comment on current events, both real and fictional; it parodies traditional newspapers with stories, editorials and man-in-the-street interviews.

Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson founded The Onion in 1988, at University of Wisconsin.

At first, The Onion was a success in a limited number of cities and towns, notably those with major universities, such as Chicago and Milwaukee; in 1996, the creation of the website allowed it to receive a national attention.

In 2000, The Onion was approached by Comedy Central for a buyout that would broaden the goal and reach of The Onion’s brand of satire into other forms of media.

In April 2009, the Onion was awarded a Peabody Award .

The Onion’s print edition is distributed free in Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver, Austin, Santa Fe and Providence.

Now, The Onion is one of the most important press service which it’s necessary to read if you want to be informed about the last national and international events.


The Family Guy

Family-GuyIt’s an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family made up of parents Peter and Lois; their children Chris, Meg and Stewie and their dog Brian.

Family Guy has been nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards and in 2009, it was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series; it has also received criticism, including unfavorable comparisons for similarity to The Simpsons.

The irony of this cartoon ranges from satire, as we can see characters that portrays politicians, coming to sarcasm about the society, poked fun thanks to every character that stereotypes the modern society.

In addition, the continuous use of flashback makes it much insane, because the flashbacks are the real sketches.

The Simpsons

FamilyThe Simpsons is an American adult animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company.

The series is a satirical parody of the middle class American lifestyle, epitomized by a family with the same name, which consists of Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge and Maggie. It is based on a mix of screwball political and social comedy and satire, all in an atmosphere of sharp sarcasm which disrespect the taboos of our modern society.

The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.

simpsons_the_homer_wo_hoo_duff_beer_41004141The Simpsons is widely considered to be one of the greatest television series of all time; in 1999 Time magazine named it the 20th century’s best television series and in 2000, the Simpsons family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It has won dozens of awards since its debut, including 27 Primetime Emmy Awards.

mccartney-simpsonsThe cartoon is full of strong criticism about American TV, the Republican Party and in particular about former Presidents Bush and Clinton; there is also a critical vein against Fox (the network producer) and against the controversial billionaire owner Rupert Murdock. Over the years, episodes have been dedicated to famous personalities of the star system like U2, Britney Spears, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.

One of the most important themes that the Simpsons address is politics.

It is a common theme in this animated television series and this phenomenon has some crossover with real American politics; US conservatives voiced opposition to the show early in its run, when it was still controversial for its crude humor and irreverent take on family values.

Political topics addressed on The Simpsons include homophobia and gay marriage, immigration and border control, drugs and alcohol abuse, gun rights, environmental issues, election campaigns and corruption.

nuclear_simpsons-400x300Former US President George W. Bush has always criticized The Simpsons, saying that Americans need to believe in family and real values. These remarks led to a series of jokes focused on Bush, his politics and his family.

Due to controversial issues, the series has been censored by broadcasters and by governments of foreign countries; Fox has never adopted censorship policies on the cartoon, although on several occasions, the producers have asked Matt Groening to cut certain dialogues before the airing of the episode.

The show was censored in Britain, Venezuela, Argentina and was banned in Russia and China; in Japan, the last episode of the tenth season, entitled “From Tokyo with horror” was never aired, due to the comic portrait of some icons and holy figures, like Emperor Akihito. Moreover, this episode is not in the local DVD edition of the tenth season.

In Italy, in contrast to what happened to other American cartoons such as South Park, Family Guy and American Dad, the series has not suffered censorship, even if the dialogues were lightened.

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show

Jon Stewart is an American political satirist, a writer, a television host, an actor, a media critic and a stand-up comedian. He is widely known as the host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program that airs on Comedy Central.

jon-stewartThe Daily Show

The Daily Show is an American late night satirical television program: it is currently the longest running program on Comedy Central and has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards.

The Daily Show draws its comedy and satire from recent news stories, political figures, media organizations and often from aspects of the show itself.

The show typically starts with a monologue from Jon Stewart that focuses on the latest political news and the final segment is dedicated to a celebrity interview, with guests from the music, political and show business world: some of the most important political guests have been US President Barack Obama, Former US President Bill Clinton, British Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. Also many presidential candidates have appeared on the show to promote their campaigns like John Kerry, John McCain and Barack Obama.

American television also offers some political satirical cartoons, which are broadcast worldwide.

Animated sitcoms are another way of doing satire: in the United States, there are some animated sitcoms that have become famous around the world; they are biting and sometimes straightforward, and they ridicule American society, even at the political level.

Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert is an American political satirist, a comedian, a writer, a television host and an actor.

120918071347182866He is the host of The Colbert Report.

Started in 1999, it is is an American satirical late night television program that airs on Comedy Central; it is a spin-off of The Daily Show which, like The Daily Show, criticizes politicians, policies and the media and it covers current news and political controversies.

The program focuses on Stephen Colbert, a fictional journalist played by Colbert himself; the character described by Colbert is a caricature defined as a “well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot”.

The Colbert Report has been nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, two Television Critics Association Awards and two Satellite Awards.

Conan O’Brien

the-tonight-show-with-conan-obrienConan O’Brien is an American television host, a comedian, a writer, a producer and a performer. Since November 2010 he has hosted Conan, a late-night show on TBS.

In 1987, Saturday Night Live’s executive producer hired O’Brien as a writer of many famous sketches; like many SNL writers, he occasionally appeared as an extra in the sketches: his most notable appearance was as a doorman in a sketch in which Tom Hanks was introduced into SNL for hosting his fifth episode. In 1989, O’Brien and his fellow SNL writers received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a comedy or variety series. He worked for the show until 1991.

From 1991 to 1993, O’Brien was a writer and a producer for The Simpsons.

From 1993 to 2009, he hosted the American late night show on NBC. He left the direction in 2009 to succeed Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show. The show was known for its absurd comedic sensibility and for its sarcasm and irony.

In 2004, O’Brien negotiated a new contract with NBC: he took over the Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2009.

Navigazione articolo