Late night humor and satire is playing an increasingly significant role within our culture and political landscape. Most recently, comedians Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have gone beyond the role satirists traditionally have played in skewering and making fun of politics -- and instead have started becoming prominent participants and activists within the political process itself. This dissertation closely examines the developments of the Colbert Super PAC project and investigates how Colbert's efforts have transformed the traditional role of political satire into something new and unique within the American political landscape. The research examines this phenomenon to gain an understanding of the motives and intent behind the Colbert Super PAC, as well as perceptions and understanding of this "participatory satire" among those within the journalism and campaign finance reform communities. Additionally the perspectives of several leading campaign election law experts are explored, along with analysis of media coverage focused on the Colbert Super PAC effort. Along with connections to existing theories within mass communication and political psychology, potential implications for this unique form of political humor within our democracy and future national political debates are discussed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2012. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Brian G. Southwell. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 265 pages, appendices A-B.
Gilkerson, Nathan David.
Participatory satire? political humor, the Colbert Super PAC Project, and the colliding worlds of late night comedy and modern American politics.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.