The issues of our presidential elections and the virtues and flaws of our candidates come into sharp focus when illuminated by the wit of political observers. America's humorists brighten the electoral scene, reminding us that we needn't always look at presidential campaigns with a solemn air. Thanks to the satiric insights of America's wits, we are able to keep a sense of perspective about the candidates, particularly when their follies and foibles are most intolerable. It is the presidential campaign humor created by America's comedians, humorists, journalists, editorial cartoonists, and the candidates themselves that writer Gerald Gardner celebrates in Campaign Comedy. He reviews the humor, from the caustic to the comedic, that most recently targeted Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ross Perot in the explosive 1992 election. He also focuses, in a campaign-by-campaign format, on the humor generated by the presidential campaigns ranging back to the epochal struggle between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960. Candidates including Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Lyndon Johnson, and the men they defeated are also the subject of the hilarious or vicious wit that is chronicled here. Campaign Comedy is brimming with relevant and pithy humor from Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Art Buchwald, Mark Russell, Bob Hope, Mort Sahl, Garry Trudeau, and the closet wits who supplied the presidential candidates with the "spontaneous humor" that they employed during their campaigns. Gardner also highlights the campaign humor of television's most famous political shows, "That Was the Week That Was," "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," and "Saturday Night Live." Gerald Gardner provides a delightful reminder that humor is a basic form of communication through which the media, the humorists, and the candidates convey their skepticism, anger, and differences. He makes it clear why humor is the most essential element in a democracy and why it is the one ingredient that no totalitarian society seems to possess.
Entertainment, Humor, General,