1) Choose a political issue (gun control, abortion, healthcare, human rights, news, anything really) and write about how comedy engages with that issue. Use multiple genres of comedy (sketch, TV, film, stand-up, The Onion (print), animation, political cartoons/memes, etc) that deal with the same issue to form a unified theory or understanding of the issue.
2) Write your paper, Onion style. Put together 5 pages of your own issue of The Onion. Go to theonion.com for inspiration. Use your own headlines, pictures, articles, graphics… all that shit, and make it biting satire and social commentary. If you choose this creative option, you’ll be graded more based on how clearly your points come across than how funny it is… but it should be funny too. As you know, the two are not mutually exclusive.
3) What kind of impact do you think Stewart, Colbert, Oliver, Meyers, Maher, Noah, Minaj, and Bee are making with their books and TV shows? Is humor the new news, and if so, is it a positive or negative development? You don’t need to focus only on Stewart and Colbert. What other forms of humor might indicate a similar shift, and how do those go about achieving change or awareness? If “humor is a vehicle for change” write about how this can or cannot be accomplished.