The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint- Comedians help give insight into real political issues

By Bethany Narvaez/ nw news editor

In a nation being held in the tiny hands of a narcissistic businessman who can’t control his tweeting impulses, there’s not a whole lot to do except laugh. 

Late-night hosts such as Stephen Colbert and John Oliver are well-known for their comedy, but their audiences can gain a lot from their style of news reporting.

One major advantage these satirical news sources offer is the ability to strongly use the shock factor that mainstream news reporters cannot. For example, Saturday Night Live uses tactics such as vulgarity and over-the-top comedy to capture and hold the audience’s attention.

In a recent SNL Weekend Update segment, the audience roared in laughter and applauded in approval when host Colin Jost reported on Trump’s revised travel ban going into effect stating, “It’s probably not great that it’s just a bunch of brown color swatches.”

These shows also offer their audiences a more relatable source of news, not only in themselves but in their interviewees as well.

While both mainstream and satirical shows bring in political scientists and professionals for interviews, satirical news has the advantage of also interviewing celebrities and more relatable sources who represent a wider demographic of people.

When covering a news story, 24-hour news outlets such as CNN have the tendency to present the same piece of information in numerous ways to fill their unlimited airtime.

Late-night hosts such as Colbert typically have a limited 30-minute time slot to make their points. This time factor means the anchors are choosing to provide their audience with not only the most relevant news stories but also only the key points.

A study by Microsoft showed the average person has an attention span of eight seconds.

Though SNL is primarily a comedy sketch show, true and current politics play a large role in their scripts. Segments such as Weekend Update deliver relevant news stories that are comedic enough to grab your attention but also hit the major point of a news story in a very brief period of time.

Students should educate themselves on current topics through various news outlets that show different viewpoints, and satirical news offers its audience some important advantages.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian