The presidency of Donald J. Trump, has had a considerable impacts on American politics and society. One of these was his altering of the comedic mood in America, taking comedy away from many of its traditions. His presidency turned comedy into political weaponry, as comedians on the liberal side of politics turned their efforts to ridiculing Trump’s buffoonish persona, while on the conservative side, a Trump-supportive group of comedians mocked those very comedians who opposed Trump. Trump himself emerged as a comedian, performing his dark, caustic, comical routines with consummate skill at his rallies. If comedy is a pulse for a country, then it is legitimate to ask if that pulse still beating, even after Trump lost reelection in 2020. This book will address this question, examining how Trump’s presidency interrupted the historical flow of American comedic traditions, and how it spread a dark mood throughout American society.
Marcel Danesi, Ph.D. (1974), University of Toronto, is Professor Emeritus of semiotics and linguistic anthropology at that university. He has published extensively in both fields, including Memes and the Future of Popular Culture (Brill 2019).
Preface Abstract Keywords 1 American Comedy
3 Dark Comedy
4 The Circus Came and Went
5 A Comedic Nightmare
This book would be of immediate interest to scholars of comedy and popular culture, and to the usual academic audiences and institutes. Given the topicality of Trump’s effect on American society, the book will also appeal to social scientists, psychologists, and even the general public.