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Small Screen, Big FeelsTelevision and Cultural Anxiety in the Twenty-First Century$
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Melissa Ames

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813180069

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813180069.001.0001

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Performing and Experiencing Anger (through Humor)

Performing and Experiencing Anger (through Humor)

Infotainment’s Increased Visibility and Political Effect

(p.57) 3 Performing and Experiencing Anger (through Humor)
Small Screen, Big Feels

Melissa Ames

University Press of Kentucky

Turning to one final entertainment genre, Chapter Three studies the rise in popularity of parodic infotainment news shows following the September 11th attacks. Drawing upon humor relief theory, as well as theories concerning affect mimicry and imagined communities, this essay argues that news parodies, such as Comedy Central's The Daily Show, satisfied various emotional needs for viewers during this traumatic time period. While critics often worry that therapeutic laughter diffuses fear and anger and quells rebellious impulses, this essay argues that the humor provided by these programs have the potential to help viewers transform their negative emotions into action.

Keywords:   infotainment, The Daily Show, News, politics, satire, imagined communities, activism, post-9/11

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