Stick it out through a few minutes of talk about comparative literature and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and you’ll get to the good stuff in this TED talk from comedian Chris Bliss about the power of comedy. By “good stuff,” obviously I mean “explanation of how satire with integrity uses comedic techniques to impact people’s opinions.”
What gives comedy its edge at reaching around people’s walls is the way that it uses misdirection. A great piece of comedy is a verbal magic trick, where you think it’s going over here, and then all of a sudden you’re transported over here, and there’s this mental delight that’s followed by the physical response of laughter, which not coincidentally releases endorphins in the brain. And just like that you’ve been seduced into a different way of looking at something, because the endorphins have brought down your defenses.
Booyah, people who think that watching The Daily Show on television is an inherently passive and lazy activity! We’re changing the world over here, okay?