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You know what's funny? That 'Red Eye' show on Fox News!Not to be prejudiced or anything, but a short tour around the Internets pretty easily proves that conservatives don’t “get” satire or parody. Why? The answer probably has something to do with “belief in simple absolutes” and “sex shame” and “childhood brain damage,” and research from 30 years ago showed dogmatic people tend to be both dumb and unable to comprehend satire. And that’s why wingnuts don’t understand that Stephen Colbert’s Comedy Central parody of Fox News is, in fact, a comedic parody.

TO BE FAIR, a certain type of Libtard is also immune to satire and parody and comedy in general, as evidenced by the old joke, “How many lesbians does it take to change a light bulb?” (Answer: “That’s not funny.” This joke, obviously, predates our Modern Era in which lesbians are, indeed, very funny and often employed by the comedy industry.) It is our opinion that liberal types were not very funny in the 1980s and much of the 1990s — they were far too worried about saying something Offensive. It is this, and only this, that explains the prominence of P.J. O’Rourke in the 1980s.

Anyway, new study proves it, wingers really don’t understand comedy, and actual academics at Ohio State actually did a study to prove it:

This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert’s political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.

Conservative Colbert viewers not in on the joke [Kottke.org]

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172 COMMENTS

  1. Lol, dumbasses. Is anybody really surprised? We knew about this when Tom DeLay’s people tried to point to “hard-hitting” Colbert as their ally on his website.

  2. i once watched jon stewart with my moonie brother-in-law, he kept saying “what’s so funny, i don’t get it” and he never will.

  3. I’ve often said that republicans have no sense of irony, but now I realize there is peer reviewed research showing that since reagan, we’ve been screwed in this country because the right wing can’t get a joke.

  4. The thing that makes this especially hilarious is that the only time he WAS being completely serious–his White House Correspondents’ Dinner performance–is when he was completely bagging on Bush.

  5. I used to notice this a lot in his crowd responses during the second year or so he was on. There were often odd people in his audience hooting in agreement with him during less funny moments – definitely not a “yes, stick it to the conservatives, with such sarcasm as this!” hooting. It actually kinda fucked up the show — it’s impossible to enjoy the sarcasm if someone is deliberately ignoring it — and I feel like they must have done something about it, because I don’t really notice it any more.

  6. They are the kinds of people who think throwing kittens into dryers is funny. Humor for dogmatics and righties is always centered around power, humiliation and violence.

  7. I told that lesbian joke on my lesbian radio show once, and a bunch of lesbians called in to tell me that they didn’t get it.

  8. [re=303168]chauncey[/re]: I think they started showing prospective audience members a photo of Michael Steele at the door, asking them who it was. People who answered “Michael Steele” were turned away; people who answered “Larry David in blackface” were let in.

  9. Early wingnut detection can happen during the Jonathan Swift segment of 10th grade English lit. They are the ones saying, “So these are Mexican babies we’re talking about, right?”

  10. I was told there would be no math. What is this, fivethirtyeight.com? Nate Silver will not marry you, no matter how wide your standard deviation is.

  11. I guess I’m a stoopid conservative, cuz I find this sentence gorgeous in its incomprehensibility:

    “Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.”

    Actually, if conservatards think Colbert’s joking, aren’t they kind of one acid-trippy meta-step above us libruls laughing at him?

  12. Also, could someone please explain me this: it is said that aaron schock is quite the smarty pants, breezing through his classes at Bradley and was able to finish in 2 years instead of four (is that proof that he is smart? I donut know) yet he goes on Colbert’s show. Why?

  13. [re=303170]AfghanVet[/re]: Yep. Or, in other words, “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld,” 3 a.m. on Fox News!

    [re=303172]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: Hahahah. Wait, why aren’t you promoting your lesbian radio show on Wonkette?!

  14. Denial, can anyone say denial? They know Colbert is making fun of them, even though they don’t understand what it is about what he is saying that makes it funny. But they will never admit it.

  15. The best thing about satire is the people who don’t get it.

    This study only confirms the obvious: People who think Stephen Colbert is being serious on a network called Comedy Central should be shot in the face.

  16. this study just means everyone, regardless of political ideology, wants Colbert to represent their views. Colbert is an empty canvas upon which liberals and conservatives project their beliefs, while Colbert snickers.

    a fan of the hyper-extended metaphor that is a satire of itself, Glenn Beck more than fulfills my infotainment needs.

  17. A natural extension of their inability to recognize satire is that any attempts at it on their part are generally dogshit.

    It’s a shame, really. The Democrats leave themselves wide open for lampooning literally every single day, but a core tenet of their opposition is “not being particularly clever”. In order to see liberals satirized, you have to wait for a liberal to do it. The most common conservative response, in fact, is to do something so mind-crushingly stupid it makes you reconsider being an independent.

  18. [re=303183]Ken Layne[/re]: Oh, that was YEARS ago. No longer have it. Hell, I’m not even a lesbian anymore. Hard to stay off the dick. Maybe that’s why they didn’t find me funny?

  19. [re=303190]NebraskashireGentry[/re]: You said it better than I did. But Colbert is really doing parody, not satire.

    [re=303177]VelvetFist[/re]: Here’s a little test from the good old days, the California F- (for fascism) -scale.

    http://www.anesi.com/fscale.htm

    Was supposed to measure propensities toward fascism of the Nazi type, but still pretty much works.

  20. [re=303189]magic titty[/re]: Depending on what type of ammunition you use, that could leave them still capable of voting and/or reproducing. Might I suggest tin snips or pruning shears instead?

  21. Getting satire requires holding two thoughts at the same time.

    Limbaugh once said the a liberal is a person who disagrees with himself. That’s the best definition of *thinking* I’ve ever heard.

  22. When I was an RA in college one of the kids on my floor was from rural Oklahoma. He asked me to keep the other people on the floor from watching the Daily Show on the common area TV. I asked him if he wanted me to ban the Colbert Report and he said that Stephen Colbert was fine because he obviously has the “right kind of values”. I had to bite my shirt and look away to keep from laughing. Then I signed him up for ManHunt.net later that week. He dropped out after the semester to go to Oral Roberts University.

  23. The whole “humorless liberal” thing reminds me of an old George Carlin *sniff* joke. Probably a little inaccurate, but whatev: “People say that some things just aren’t funny. You can’t tell a joke about them. Like rape. They say you can’t joke about rape, it’s serious. But that’s bullshit, rape can be funny. Picture Elmer Fudd raping Porky Pig. See? Rape is hilarious!”

  24. [re=303183]Ken Layne[/re]: Don’t forget that “Conservative Daily Show” ripoff Fox tried for like two weeks before realizing that to the average Fox viewer, there’s no difference between really bad humor and Sean Hannity.

  25. I tried to get the whole article, but you have to have access to their archives. I could order it through work, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t ‘work-related’ use of library resources.

    [re=303181]V572625694[/re]: That’s fancy-pants statistics talk. It just means that ideology -> perception -> individual opinion. In other words, conservatards are incapable of understanding that they are being satirized because it would destroy their minds. And the study authors proved it with the magic of statistics.

    The real hilarity here is that these folks turned watching the Colbert Report and making fun of conservatards into a peer-reviewed publication. They will put this on their resumes. Goldbricking and nerdiness, FTW!

  26. If Colbert hasn’t reported it yet, I can’t wait to see the bit, but also the reaction from the reactionaires. It’ll be a carnival inside a circus inside a clusterfuck.

  27. [re=303193]Naked Bunny with a Whip[/re]: They wonder why there are so many typos, but they think the kitties are cute. By the way, congratulations on having the comment of the week on CC.

  28. How much pork barrel money was wasted on this? I live in rural OK. Anything they want to know about how retarded dumbass right wingers are, they could just ask me. Government waste! Rush O’Beck is right!

  29. It wasn’t that long ago that our then governor Blago the Great, was on “The Daily Show” as an interviewee. He went the entire interview not realizing it was a joke, then got mad at his staff for not telling him it was a joke. Look what happened next? He ran the whole state into the ground to get even with us. But we will get the last laugh, we will send him to a “resort” were he can play tennis for ten years and work on his tan….

  30. [re=303190]NebraskashireGentry[/re]: Indeed. Colbert likes to have it both ways, so to speak. It’s part of the appeal.

    As for PJ O’Rourke, I picked found my old copy of Republican Party Reptile recently and some of it is still pretty funny. He lost his nerve with CEO Of the Sofa, and I’ve never been able to take him seriously (?) as a humorist ever since.

  31. [re=303202]Ken Layne[/re]: I believe she already mentioned that she’s out of the lesbian business.

    Hey – I’m waiting for my car to warm-up.

  32. It actually took me a while to be sure it was satire, but not for the reasons implied above: I was unfamiliar with the fact it was a spinoff of The Daily Show when I started watching it, and I actually know a large number of people who truly believe this kind of stuff for reasons just as overly simplistic & ludicrous as the ones he puts out there that I thought it plausible that he wasn’t joking–even as I was laughing out loud at his antics.

  33. The Mallard Fillmore comic strip is a good exhibit for this case. It tries to be ironic, but he just doesn’t get it. So it’s just sad and dumb. Like a little kid telling dirty jokes.

  34. [re=303212]Hooray For Anything[/re]: I remember the ripoff the wingers at Fox launched. If was gone before I thought to watch it to see what it was like. There’s a simple reason that conservatives and humor don’t mix: You have to be stupid to buy the shit they put out, and stupid humor is limited to the standup comics at Branson (or so I assume–I’ve never been there).

    They don’t understand why the 3 stooges keep hitting each other. You can’t expect them to get Colbert.

  35. [re=303190]NebraskashireGentry[/re]: Glad someone said it. Who knows what Colbert really thinks? He’s a catholic after all (er.. right?), and catholics don’t fit neatly into either the librul or conservative box. On top of that, there are plenty of catholics who openly disagree with the pope, e.g. anal.

  36. [re=303207]Naked Bunny with a Whip[/re]: Oh, I think if you worked hard enough at it, you could even get a vagatarian to trade sides.

  37. [re=303210]Zadig[/re]: That is essentially the Carlin bit. And it is not only damn funny, but incredibly insightful as most of his comedy was.

  38. I once read a HuffPo comment (don’t judge) which declared that Keith Olbermann intends for his show to be satire. Yes, those breathy 15-minute rant/lecture/special comments do always make me laugh, so maybe that libtard was right. We are officially too fucking stupid for satire. The republic is dead if it wasn’t already.

  39. ‘Michele Bachmann Blames FDR’s “Hoot-Smalley” Tariffs For Great Depression’ – and you’re telling me conservatives don’t get teh funny?

  40. [re=303228]Mustang[/re]: Well, it’s hard to appreciate (much less create) humor when one is in the middle of a permanent rage-gasm.

  41. Wait, if conservatives are watching Colbert are they also watching the Daily Show? If so, what do they think of Jon Stewart? Do they think the Daily Show is Comedy Central’s attempt at being “Fair and Balanced”?

  42. [re=303222]randomsausage[/re]: Yeah, they love bald eagles unless they interfere with their god given rights to spray DDT everywhere and shoot living things without restraint.

  43. [re=303199]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: Could there be anything hotter than a reformed lesbian? Any chance you were a conservatard too, and then saw the light?

  44. [re=303181]V572625694[/re]: look, it’s simple. the odd levels are ironic, the even levels are sociopathic. or maybe i got that backwards.

    a conservative business owner in my old hood used to put reagan memorabilia and conservative rants in his storefront window. thought he was kind of a sweet old guy, actually. but one day he had a decidedly pro-choice single panel political cartoon in the window. ferget what it said, but it involved a pregnant girl, a back alley, and a coathanger. i spent a while trying to figure out how it could have been misinterpreted as pro-life without being scarily cruel and heartless.

    he’s dead now, though. so i guess i’ll just have to wonder.

  45. [re=303262]Reed Enwright[/re]: 1.77 I’m a whining rotter! Woo hoo!

    [re=303258]Mad Farmer Manifest[/re]: They loves them some pictures of bald eagles. Not lilving pooping bald eagles that don’t attack commies arab terrists.

  46. [re=303257]Perry227[/re]: Stewart is “of the tribe” but the bad (NY) kind, not the good (Tel Aviv) kind–ergo he is a horned-devil Jesus-killing librul moran.

  47. Re the whole lesbian/lightbulb thing. I know the traditional answer is “Two” — ie one to screw in the lightbulb, and the other to write a folk song about it. But these days, don’t we all prefer our lesbians to be of the lip-stick variety, or at least the Ellen variety? I mean, the love between two women is a beautiful thing: especially if they are hot, exquisitely groomed and shot in HD.

  48. [re=303276]aflurry[/re]: Yeah it’s funny, because you’d have to be moron or a conservatard not to realize that all the higher-numbered answers are authoritarian, who’s-your-daddy scary. An even halfway creative test designer would’ve reversed out some of the questions. The scariest two things about conservatards are (1) their firm belief that powerful people are working in secret; and (2) their certainty that these powerful people are also having way cool kinky sex.

  49. [re=303225]cranky[/re]: Ha! Beat me to it.

    [re=303294]randomsausage[/re]: Well, lesbians are finally allowed to be feminine. Back when I was a rug-muncher, you were considered a total sellout if you didn’t shave your head and pierce every extremity. Actually, it might still be like that. Damned if I have time to find out.

  50. Wingers have been hungering for a conservative teevee talk show with a live audience ever since Limbaugh’s teevee show was cancelled in 1996. But it still amuses the hell out of me that they think Colbert is a real conservative. I mean, wtf? One Tek Jansen cartoon should be enough to convince anyone that the guy’s a comedian.

    I guess the fact that the show airs on Comedy Central wasn’t enough to make its way through their meth-addled synapses.

  51. A lesbian goes to the gyno for yearly check up:

    Gyno: “Yes, you’re all clear. In fact that’s the most spotless set of genitals I’ve seen in a long time. How do you keep yourself so clean?”
    Lesbo: “I have a woman in twice a week.

  52. Somehow authoritarian types and their groupies on both sides lose their sense of irony. Change a phrase or two and Bill O’Reilly could be denouncing the counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs at the All-Union Conference of Soviet Journalists sometime in the 1950’s

  53. [re=303302]V572625694[/re]: I don’t know if people in this country are freakier than the ancient Greeks and Romans, but I doubt they had furries. Also, judging by Wonkette’s readership, I can say we give them a run for their money on teh buttsecks. I just don’t understand how the conservatards think that if there was powerful people working in secret, they’d be liberals. They want to suppress our rights by making sure that they protect our civil rights. Wait, what?

  54. To be fair, how many of us watch South Park and think, “THEY’RE ONLY MAKING FUN OF INACCURATE STEREOTYPES OF LIBERALS, NOT LIBERALS THEMSELVES.”

  55. [re=303196]Country Club Jihadi[/re]: Colbert needs that license plate. Wait, no. We need Colbert on a license plate. Can the Colbert Nation get on this?

  56. When I worked for a wingnut coffee shop I stole Stephen Colbert quotes to whip out during librul-bashing conversations with my boss between rushes. As painful as it was to work for a man who seriously believes that all Muslims are homosexual child molesters, at least he serves as an entertaining anecdote every time the topic of high-functioning retards comes up.

  57. [re=303190]NebraskashireGentry[/re]: Yeah, but only the religious left actually get what they want. In real life, Colbert is a libtard, but a liberation-theology Catholic libtard who loves teh gheys.

  58. Q: How many conservatives does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: None. The C Crane hand crank portable shortwave radio comes with an LED that provides enough light to read the preamble to the constitution after only nine minutes of cranking – assuming, of course, that your one of those elite “reading” conservatives.

  59. [re=303243]mookworthjwilson[/re], [re=303243]DustBowlBlues[/re]: I had to go to Branson often as a small child (granted, before it turned into ‘Branson’ but it was still pretty bad) so I’ve kept an eye on its progress. Are you trying to tell me that Shoji Tabuchi is not satire?

  60. [re=303230]DustBowlBlues[/re]: Why DO the 3 stooges keep hittin each other? I don’t get it, even though I’m a whining rotter…is it a penis-owner thing?

  61. [re=303307]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: That’s only your urban, four-year-lesbian, college-girl bullshit. Most of the lesbians I know wear flannel shirts and drive pickup trucks, and they’ve been doing it since they were 12. They never really got into the political stuff.

    North Georgia, btw, is stuffed FULL of dykes for some reason. The Unitarian Church in Dahlonega has a lesbian majority.

  62. Did conservatives think Colbert was not joking recently when he insisted that the church was right to persecute Galilleo for saying the earth goes around the sun?

  63. [re=303183]Ken Layne[/re]: Of course she would do that, it’s a brilliant idea…she knows the chicks on here are hip and the men are shameless….

  64. [re=303315]Czn939[/re]: classic douchebaggery, “yeah. 87% of your audience is intoxicated.” good lord. what a fucking moran. you could film the daily show in an irish bar in chicago on st. patrick’s day and less than 87% of the audience would be drunk. that guy couldn’t be more full of shit.

  65. [re=303401]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: Please stop commenting. It is so hard to type with one hand.

    Just kidding, don’t stop. Seriously, don’t stop. Don’t Stop! PLEASE DON’T STOP, DON’T STOP, DON’T STOP-OHHHH.

    Okay you can stop.

    [re=303386]magic titty[/re]: I just quit reading after he wrote “How many of us watch South Park…”

  66. [re=303354]Robobot[/re]: “wingnut coffee shop”

    WTF is that? Dunkin’ Donuts? I thought coffee shops were hippie liberal places, starbucks, or my personal favorite Amsterdam style

  67. Well, the wingnuts in the dems are too busy being offended to watch much tele.

    The reason wingnuts on the left were even less funny in the 80s was probably the same reason conservatives are less funny now, they were a group run by batshit insane idealogues.

    Don’t worry, I’m sure once Barry slides a bit in the polls the dems will be back to running around screaming ‘RACISM!’ whenever they can.

  68. wow that is truly awesome. The only thing funnier than someone being mocked is when that person laughs along because he or she thinks the joke is about someone else.

  69. [re=303170]AfghanVet[/re]: Hitting the nail on the head (or is that hitting the target at 1/2 mile?). If you don’t already have a real one, please accept this Doctorate in Sociology from Whatsamatter U.

  70. [re=303171]SpikeyDog[/re]: Speaking of which, I know a check is a check these days, but why is Ken writing for AOL? Isn’t that an online wingut bathhouse over there?

  71. [re=303384]Naked Bunny with a Whip[/re]: I stand corrected. I forgot abotu all that. Do you think many of the Greeks themselves were furries, or just their gods?

  72. [re=303430]Bruno[/re]: Well, since I don’t work or live there anymore…

    Gusto di Vita, Warrenton, VA. It’s just a drive-thru, but if the balding baboon of a man is working you can expect some very entertaining conversation. Hours of it, if you aren’t careful. He’s a nice guy, seriously, but he’s so insane it’s amazing.

    If anyone has encountered this man, please report back.

  73. In all seriousness, isn’t the fact that so many conservative elites have been revealed as total shit-eating hypocrites relevant here? Forgive the tortured syntax. The point is, you can’t get satire when all your leaders appear to be living the opposite of their teachings.

  74. Do you think many of the Greeks themselves were furries

    In a culture even more imbued with magical thinking than ours, I suspect that not only were there furries of some sort, but that there were more “weres”, people who think they physically transform into animals. Granted, they probably couldn’t get dates back then, either.

  75. [re=303354]Robobot[/re]: Reminds of the coffee shop I lived over in the 80’s, owned by two Greek immigrant brothers; one a certified communist, the other a nazi storm trooper. They could barely agree on how to boil water. One day a blind man with a seeing-eye dog came in, sat in the booth and ordered. Moments later Nick the Nazi threw him and the “filty” dog out, screaming about health department violations and such. Meanwhile, you should have seen the basement!

    This is the difference between libs and cons, I have learned.

  76. [re=303332]Pizzuti[/re]: Apparently, South Park’s creators get their panties in a knot if people say that they’re conservatives, either trying to claim them or denounce them. They think of themselves as “a pox on both your houses” types, but I’m inclined to agree that, while not wingnuts, they fall to the right of center. And that’s cool because they bring the funny, provided your sense of humor, like mine, runs to the crass and vulgar.

    [re=303330]Mad Farmer Manifest[/re]: We’re freakier than the Greeks and Romans, just more hung up about it (Thanks, Jesus!). We’ve had 2000 years to build on all that kinky shit they were doing and technology has only opened new doors for us. Romans never had latex fetishists or tentacle porn or any of the other awesome stuff the last 30 years have furnished us with.

  77. [re=303307]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: Oh, the gender-presentation wars continueth, although there’s more latitude now than when I was a baby dyke (back then whore makeup & fishnets got me kicked out of Pride, say). But still, it’s very identitarian out there, even for Femmes. Anyway, please give my fond regards to the dick! I remember that rascal. I think he still owes me money.

  78. Republican humor list:
    Farts
    Burps (especially burping the alphabet while chugging some Pabst Blue Ribbon)
    Racial jokes
    Even more farts
    Gay Jokes
    Guvmn’t Jokes

    Democratic humor list:
    Satire
    Irony
    Farts (Hey some things are just universal)
    Reading Wonkette

  79. [re=303527]Naked Bunny with a Whip[/re]: Thanks for the lulz.

    [re=303598]Gallowglass[/re]: Tentacle porn? Learn something new everyday. Glad I jumped in on this conversation.

  80. [re=303181]V572625694[/re]: I believe that is what my beloved husband refers to as “edu-speak”. It’s commonly seen in the written form on college campuses and is even more incomprehensible when said aloud.

  81. [re=303435]Heq[/re]: speak for yourself or at least not me. I am left of Rachel Maddow and I watch hella tv. DVR rules, you can blow thru the evil mind control commerce propaganda.

  82. Colbert needs to take this a step further and claim that this report is bogus science like evolution, global warming, paleontology and heliocentrism.

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