Satire: Laughter in the dark
“But it’s satire!” says every Twitter lout, demagogue or disinformationist to justify their abuse, pile-ons or straight-up lies. But what IS satire? How does it work? What distinguishes it from bullying? Does it even have to be funny? Ian Dunt and Dorian Lynskey go in search of the truth of satire on a journey that takes in The Thick Of It, Basil Fawlty, Jonathan Swift, Succession, Lenny Bruce, trickster gods, Boris Johnson, Peter Cook and Beyond The Fringe, Spitting Image and more… all the way back to the origin 1.4 million years ago of laughter itself.
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• “Wait… this word that I’ve been using all of my life, nobody knows what it means?” – Dorian Lynskey
• “Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own” – Jonathan Swift
• “Satire tells you more about its era than any other literature.” – John R Clarke
• “Laughter is a response to frustration, just as tears are. And it solves nothing, as tears do.” – Kurt Vonnegut
• “Audiences like to think satire is doing something but mostly it’s making them satisfied – rather than angry, which is what they should be.” – Tom Lehrer
Picture: The Thick Of It, BBC
Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters productionGet next week’s episode right now when you back us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/originstorypod
• “Fascists are inferior people who believe it when told they are superior.” – Kurt Vonnegut
• “Except in struggle there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece.” – Filippo Tomasso Marinetti
• “The fist is the synthesis of our theory.” – Italian fascist, 1920
• “Germans would even dream of the state interfering in their lives. The Nazis had infiltrated even their sleep.” – Ian
• “You can’t have a violent rebirth without the sense that you’ve been oppressed and put upon.” – Dorian
Written and presented by Dorian Lynskey and Ian Dunt. Audio production and music by Jade Bailey. Logo art by Mischa Welsh. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Origin Story is a Podmasters production