There is a new wave of humor entering comedy TV.
Recent episodes of popular comedies like South Park and Family Guy have lost a touch of the old toilet humor and progressed into something intelligent and relative to modern politics.
Family Guy’s ninth season recently featured conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh in the episode “Excellence in Broadcasting.”
Taking stabs at the left, but more at the right, the show covers the stereotypical ideas of both ideologies, depicted through Limbaugh and the liberal canine Brian Griffin.
After converting Brian to the conservative way, Limbaugh joins him in a musical number titled, “Republican Town,” which suggests a church to Ronald Reagan
and that global warming is simply a snow job by Obama.
“I guess the most frequent criticism I’m getting is that I allowed conservatism to be ‘cartooned,’ but everything in the show is cartooned,” Limbaugh said on his talk show.
“But that ending, folks? I’m running down the street, I morph into an eagle, fly into the sky, into a big American flag? I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that,” he continued. “Conservatism looked pretty good to me.”
Limbaugh was a good sport, even making a few jokes against himself and the Republican Party.
“The fact that you would give a woman credit for anything, it means you’re a liberal,” Limbaugh tells Brian in the episode.
Of course, the show keeps its trademark flashbacks and simple humor, but overall it seems to be a brief political lesson mixed with classic comedy that someone 15-years-old or 50 would enjoy.
After a six-month hiatus, South Park returned to Comedy Central, political as ever, to finish season 14.
The season has taken cracks at medical marijuana, terrorism, and the BP oil spill, with legitimate, though fairly libertarian, jokes and arguments.The recent three-episode trilogy centered around the oil spill.
The first episode, “Coon 2: Hindsight,” brings back Eric Cartman’s alter ego “the Coon.” This crime-solving raccoon was first introduced in 2009 to mock the newest Batman movie.
The episode mocks the apology videos released by BP CEO Tony Hayward, as well as the media coverage and government responses to the issue, portrayed through Captain Hindsight.
Hindsight is a superhero who can only state the safety precautions that should have been in place, rather than ideas on resolving the issue.
The Coon and his friends find themselves in competition with Captain Hindsight for the fame and glory of solving the BP issue.
While the political jokes are increasing, the creators of Family Guy and South Park were far from shy in using politics in the past.
Family Guy has cracked jokes about immigration, No Child Left Behind, the electioneering process, censorship by the FCC, and Bill Clinton’s sexcapades.
Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the show, has donated over $50,000 to Democratic committees and elections, including for the 2008 presidential election, in favor of Barack Obama.
“Family Guy tends to be very liberal because it’s written by liberals,” MacFarlane told the Hollywood Reporter.
MacFarlane said bringing a Republican onto the show was an attempt to give some face-time for the other side of politics that Family Guy typically skims over.
As for South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, their political ideologies have been debated.
Parker is an admitted registered libertarian, whereas Stone has shied away from revealing his political stance.
“I hate conservatives, but I really f—ing hate liberals,” Stone said in an online forum.
Stone also took part in Michael Moore’s documentary, “Bowling for Columbine.”
Whatever their views are, they haven’t been afraid to portray them through the little town of South Park, including stabs at drug war propagandists, environmental activists, political correctness, and Rob Reiner and the anti-smoking campaign.
New family guy episodes premiere every Sunday at 9 p.m. on FOX. South Park airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.