Transgressive Comedy vs. Satire

By: Bradley Sawyer

As a fan of South Park, I knew the show had satirical elements but it was interesting to learn that its early episodes are considered by some to be more transgressive comedy than satire. Before reading Tueth’s chapter, I did not know the difference between satire and transgressive comedy. After familiarizing myself with the terms, I definitely agree that the series started out as transgressive comedy but has evolved into a satirical comedy. Before this distinction was made, I can appreciate the fact that the show was not received well by some. However, I have always watched the show as pure entertainment and never let the comedy bother me. Now that the distinction has been made, I believe the show fits better in our society as a satire rather than transgressive comedy due to the fact that as a satire, the show is hoping to bring about change through its provocative content. I plan to go back and watch some of the earlier episodes to see if I notice a difference in the show’s presentation now that I am aware of the differences between transgressive comedy and satire.

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5 Responses to Transgressive Comedy vs. Satire

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree with your point. Tueth’s chapter completely changes our thoughts about South Park by knowing the difference between satire and transgressive comedy. The idea of transgressive comedy makes people to understand comedy shows in a deeper way. -Yutian Zhang

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Your point on the fact that the satirical elements of the show are meant to make change is totally spot on in my opinion. For some viewers, the best way to understand and respect a certain viewpoint or political concept is through a comedic representation of it, which is exactly what I think South Park tries to do and succeeds in doing.
    – Jake Moross

  3. marymdalton says:

    Excellent post!

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