Teaching Political Humor

Entertainment, Exaggeration, and Echo Chambers


  • Emily Stones Regis University


echo chamber, intertextuality, political humor, framing, media literacy, public discourse, political entertainment, fake news, Political communication, parody, satire


This three-part lesson plan aims to deepen students’ understanding of how humor impacts public perceptions of political events and political players. The activities are designed to work with current events or issues preoccupying the political-cultural landscape at the time of class instruction. The lesson plan is adaptable for online instruction.

The first and (optional) second lessons focus on the functions of political parody and draw heavily from Jason T. Peifer’s (2013) analysis of Saturday Night Live parodies of Sarah Palin. Peifer’s concepts of parodic reflection, refraction, and creation are easily translatable to parodies of contemporary political figures, like Donald Trump, and help students analyze the critical distance that makes parody humorous. The third lesson explores the circulation of humor and how late-night comedians create echo chambers that amplify select perspectives.






Lesson Plan