Video and Podcast: What’s So Funny About Oppressive Regimes?

== An MIT Communications Forum ==

As a senior producer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah, Sara Taksler has spent her career taking comedic pot shots at politicians. When she met Dr. Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian satirist who uses comedy to criticize Middle Eastern politics, Taksler witnessed first-hand how laughter thrives, even in terrifying circumstances. Tickling Giants, Taksler’s documentary about Youssef, is a hilarious story about finding comedy in unexpected places. Taksler joins Dr. Amber Day, author of Satire and Dissent: Interventions in Contemporary Political Debate, to discuss the power of free speech and what’s so funny about oppressive regimes.

Sara Taksler is a senior producer on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and creator of the documentaries TWISTED: A Balloonamentary and Stop the Ignorance: The Beauty That Is New Jersey. Her latest documentary, Tickling Giants, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

Dr. Amber Day is a professor in the English and Cultural Studies department at Bryant University who studies the intersections of art and political speech, including satire and irony, political performance and activism, and public debate. She is also the author of Satire and Dissent: Interventions in Contemporary Political Debate.

Christina Couch

About Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a human interest and finance journalist who’s making the transition into science writing. Her writing credentials include work for Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, The AV Club,, Time Out Chicago and Entrepreneur Magazine and she’s the author of a financial aid guidebook that came out in 2008, but what she’s most proud of is getting to gesture wildly and say “TODAY I INTERVIEWED THE MOST AMAZING PERSON ON EARTH!” to family and friends at least once a week. Christina has spent the last five years living as a permanent traveler and moving to a different city or country roughly every three months (thank you remote work technology). Aside from travel and space and robots (and traveling space robots), Christina’s interests include awkward dancing, indie videogames and the first three Die Hard movies. Thesis: Life After Hate: Recovering From Racism


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