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  • 작성자 사진Kim Jae-hyun

[Society] Funny, but Heavy, Political Satire

최종 수정일: 2022년 3월 11일

No. 156 / Mar 7, 2022

Recently, a program in Korea has been making countless people laugh. Called Saturday Night Live (SNL), the program can be seen on Coupang Play, which is shared by many people while forming numerous parodies and memes. In particular, people like the current series of satires about politics.

Political satire refers to pleasantly unraveling and ironic incidents in the political world that are criticized in the form of jokes. This form of entertainment began to get new life as it entered the modern age from the Middle Ages. In Europe, as education spread to citizens and the status system began to be abolished, politicians began to use satire through posters and illustrations. In addition, politicians viewed satire as another aspect of politics and posted pictures or writings satirizing the other party’s actions. In Korea, satire appeared through literature. When scholars criticized the problems of power at the time and the irrationality of the economy and society, they also took the form of literature. In the 1980s, former President Roh Tae-woo said he actively allowed the freedom of satire for politicians, and after that, political satire began to be broadcast in earnest. In the periphery of various comedy programs, including The Chairman, Chairman, Chairman, and Nero 25:00, politicians began to be used as elements of comedy. Why do people like political satire? It points out the frustrating and absurd behavior of politicians and criticizes them by using pleasant humor, not seriously or uninterestingly.

Since the early 2010s, political satire has been disappearing like in the dark ages. Hwang Hyun-hee explained why political satire disappeared; “As I became socially sensitive to hatred and discrimination, I ran out of the subject matter of comedy. The main reason is that it has become difficult to satirize specific people as political polarization intensifies”. Sung Sang-min, a cultural critic, also said, “We have no choice but to feel burdened as the blacklist of the cultural world is formed and retaliation by the regime affects celebrities”. Regulation and satirical humor were inversely proportional. In the dark age of political satire, regulations were severe, so it was moved to Over The Top (OTT) and YouTube, which were less regulated than public broadcasters, such as terrestrial ones. The United States (U.S.) is tolerant of political satire. In U.S. SNL, the president is satirized and directly satirizes the opponent. In Korea, however, political satire is a tightrope. The more prevalent the political satire, the easier it will be for people to approach politics.


By Kim Jae-hyun, AG Reporter

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