Anikó Imre is Associate Professor and Chair of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Identity Games: Globalization and the Transformation of Media Cultures in the New Europe.
(Post)socialist Political Satire
This chapter builds on the work of anthropologists Dominic Boyer and Alexei Yurchak, who argue not only that the contemporary prevalence of news satire and late socialist satirical media in Eastern Europe are analogous in their aesthetics, infrastructure, and ideological content but also that the latter anticipates the former. This analogy has far-reaching implications for understanding the historical trajectory and political significance of television satire in a transnational framework. The chapter discusses the long-running Hungarian postsocialist satirical talk show Heti Hetes (The weekly seven) as a linchpin between late socialist and late capitalist forms of political satire. The program bears the characteristics and legacies of both forms and reveals unexpected similarities between public discourses otherwise radically separated into two different political systems during the Cold War. Heti Hetes provides ground for a multilevel analysis, which accounts for national specificities within the regional legacy of political cabaret and within the shared regional circumstances of late socialism.