Comedic Nightmare

The Trump Effect on American Comedy

In: Comedic Nightmare
Marcel Danesi
Search for other papers by Marcel Danesi in
Current site
Google Scholar

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


The 45th American president, Donald J. Trump, had a considerable impact on the comedic mood in America during his presidential tenure, drastically altering its style and historical flow. His presidency turned comedy into political weaponry, dividing it, like the country, into two camps—a Trump-supportive comedy emerged and a powerful anti-Trump comedy. Significantly, Trump himself adopted his own form of dark, caustic, comedy with consummate skill at his myriad rallies. No other president had ever come close to performing a clownish act in the same way. This book looks at Trump’s effect on American comedy, juxtaposing comedic traditions in America to the antics of Trump himself. Examining how comedy had evolved during his presidency might be able to shed some light on how and why American society has split into political tribes, and perhaps why there is no longer any common frame of reference for enjoying comedy. Trump himself was a consummate entertainer, who used his own style of destructive dark humor to lambast opponents, giving a comedic voice to hatred. He was a blend of commedia dell’arte personage, Archie Bunker redux, and P. T. Barnum hustler, who understood the power of humor to sway minds. This made him largely impervious to the comedic weapons being used against him. He fought comedy with comedy, leaving America in shambles. This book aims to deconstruct how Trump affected the American psyche by altering how comedy came to perceived and practiced.

  • Collapse
  • Expand


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 839 625 56
Full Text Views 10 8 0
PDF Views & Downloads 12 6 0