the value of humor

I just finished watching an episode of Daily Show and I’m continually shocked about how much better they do at telling the news than anything else on television.  At first I used to say, “It’s great they could be so profound despite being humorous.”  Now, I’m beginning to wonder if they can be profound because they are so funny.  I wonder if a person has to understand issues more deeply and work harder at being analytical when creating satire or critique other media.  I also wonder if humor humanizes.  In other words, this guy on the show was a man who supported the use of torture.  However, they engaged in a heated and yet respectful dialogue.  

It’s not simply a “John’s a Democrat” issue. (Actually, I’m a left-leaning Libertarian, if for no other reason than for the alliteration alone)  I can’t stand Michael Moore or Al Franken.  Then again, I don’t find them to be funny.  Both men are like Rush Limbaugh in the pundit, insult your enemy, never critique both sides kind of way.
It makes me think of the classroom.  I used to believe that humor was a filler.  I thought it was a waste of time, but necessary only to reach a culture obsessed with entertainment.  Now, however, I realize that humor is an intregal part of help students to think analytically and creatively.
So, the following episode is the one I watched:
  

 

John Spencer

My goal is simple. I want to make something each day. Sometimes I make things. Sometimes I make a difference. On a good day, I get to do both.

More about John

2 responses

  1. You are so right on. I can’t stand people who say they are open minded and then cut you off at the knees when you express an idea they don’t agree with. I love the Daily Show for the same reasons you do.
    Mystery Teacher

  2. humor is integral to learning, i think. it’s interesting to me which kids get the on-topic jokes. what’s even better is when a student makes content related joke! then you KNOW they get it.
    daily show is probably one of the most “truth to power” instances of journalism and they manage to do it with integrity.
    –mz.w

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