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Penn State Prof Says Stephen Colbert Sparks Serious Discussion With His Satire

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(Stephen Colbert, on his television show Monday night.   Video frame from Comedy Central)

(Stephen Colbert, on his television show Monday night. Video frame from Comedy Central)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) — Political satirist Stephen Colbert returned to TV last night following a sudden two-day absence, and a Penn State professor with a new book about him says he brings unique energy to the public square.

His studio audience howling in anticipation, Colbert returned from family leave to insult (by faint praise) Donald Trump and Mitt Romney, among others.

mcclennon sophia side Penn State Prof Says Stephen Colbert Sparks Serious Discussion With His Satire

(Sophia McClennon.)

Sophia McClennon (right), a women’s studies professor at Penn State who cut her comedy teeth working on the Harvard Lampoon, looks at his impact in her new book, America According to Colbert.

She says that, night after night, his exaggeration of politics reveals its folly, not just for laughs but for learning.

“There’s this possibility, and I like to believe this is true, that he has literally changed — especially young people’s — ideas about the role that they can play in the democratic process,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

pat paulsen campaign speech Penn State Prof Says Stephen Colbert Sparks Serious Discussion With His SatireMcClennon says Colbert continues the legacy of American political satire that goes back to Ben Franklin, through Mark Twain, and even includes Pat Paulsen (right).

 

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