The Satire Paradox

By Malcolm Gladwell / Panoply

In the political turmoil of mid-1990s Britain, a brilliantyoung comic named Harry Enfield set out to satirize the ideology and politicsof Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His parodies became famous. He wrote andperformed a vicious sendup of the typical Thatcherite nouveau riche buffoon. Peopleloved it. And what happened? Exactly the opposite of what Enfield hoped wouldhappen. In an age dominated by political comedy, “The Satire Paradox”asks whether laughter and socialprotest are friends or foes.  To learn more about the topics covered in this episode, visit

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