Saturday, April 21, 2012

History and Comedy = Success

History and Comedy = Success

I was just watching the Colbert Report on Comedy Central and he did a segment about the Republican Presidential Candidates and what they needed to do to win the nomination in the various upcoming primary states of New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.

I found it funny that he was referencing different historical documents and the impact they had on history, such as the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Hammurabi's Code, and Roman Law. Not only was it good because it was funny, but it was also educational.

As a teacher I taught about those various topics, and would probably have used that segment to reach the students as a review after having learned about them.

He also referenced famous events and people, such as Thomas Jefferson, Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, and a few others.

Amazingly, the audience seemed to find the segment very hysterical. I was wondering the whole time, did they actually understand the historical references, pictures, and jokes. Or did they just want to laugh because it was a comedy and they were supposed to.

Based on my experiences, most people don't understand history, don't know what happened, and wouldn't know Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Edison.

I bring this up because my humor tends to require higher level thinking on the part of the person hearing my jokes. I sometimes feel the need to explain what was so funny since the person probably didn't get it. Sometimes I do explain it, but sometimes I just leave them wondering. It's an easy way to make people look and feel dumb.

I also see comedy mixed with history in shows such as the Simpsons, South Park, The Daily Show, and many more.

Since comedy and history are mixed so often, how do people know so little about history? Did those people actually know what he was even talking about? Does he have an above average audience when it comes to education? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't.

In the end, it still makes me wonder. Am I really way smarter than everyone like I think, or do they actually know something too.

I wonder if other people think about these things like I do. For example, do other people think they are smarter and way better than everyone else the way I do?

Maybe other people are as smart as me, and I'm sure a few are. But, from experience, I still have my doubts.

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