The new satire boom

'It's becoming cool'

Satire is booming, according to the comics performing in Melbourne.

At least 15 festival shows are self-proclaimed satires, and many more stand-ups touch on political material in their show.

Veteran Australian satirist Rod Quantock, pictured, says, "it's becoming increasingly popular, even cool."

Speaking to the city's Age newspaper, he added: "People are turning to comedy for information. In America the under-35s are getting their political information from comedians and satiric TV shows."

Fellow comic Michael Dalley agreed: "It's a good time for satire - politically we really are going through a dark arc."

Satirical shows include a sketch show devoted to Australian premier John Howard, a jazz-funk opera about his predecessor Paul Keating, and Phil Nichol and Janice Phayre's ridiculous Freedumb.

Casey Bennetto, front man of award-winning cabaret group Drowsy Drivers, has both elevated and derided his hero in the jazz-funk opera Keating!

Musica comic Tim Minchin said his chosen form was a powerful way of getting the message across.

"It's powerful because it's using a format, music, that people consume all the time," he told the newspaper. "It's like putting poison in food - you can sneak your intention past their blockages."


Published: 26 Mar 2005

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