New Paper Out: The Swiss “Tina Fey Effect”

This article investigates the content and effects of political humor on late-night television. Besides conducting a systematic content analysis of a Swiss late-night show, this article examines the effects of late-night political parody on competence evaluations of politicians. An experiment manipulated the televised parody of a politician and measured political knowledge. Results show that exposure to a televised political parody decreased competence ratings of politicians only for individuals high in political knowledge. The reason is that viewers must already have an understanding of current political affairs to “get the joke”—that is, the implicit message transported by the parody. The implications of such a negative “Tina Fey Effect” are discussed. Link