3.9. Satire & Horrible People

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Popular Edge-Lady and Edge-Lord Jo Waugh and Adam Smith are joined by Nicole Graham to talk about the popular card game ‘Cards Against Humanity.’ The game’s own promotional materials claim that is it intended as a work of satire, but is it really? Nicole discusses her recent book chapter ‘Laughing with Horrible People: Reaffirming Ethical Boundaries Through Laughter’ in which she applies an eighteenth-century framework for understanding humour to the famously offensive card game to determine how it works and who is culpable for the cards played during a game should they cause upset or offense.

Jo and Adam also talk about their own relationship with board games, CAH’s imminent cancellation and what happened when the government decided to use a very familiar font when sending out their important announcement about Coronavirus. 

In this episode Adam and Jo talk about:

Alexander Pope (The Rape of the Lock)

Boris Johnson 

Cards Against Humanity 

Cards Against Humanity Lab


Blankety Blank



Bad Cards

Board-game Cafes 

David Mitchell

Edge Lords

Francis Hutcheson 

Herbert Spencer 

Hercule Poirot 

Jade Goodie 

James Beattie 

Joking Hazard

Kate Davison 





Remote Insensitivity

Sigmund Freud

That Mitchell and Webb Sound

Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan)

Three theories of comedy: Incongruity, Superiority and Relief

Trivia Pursuit

Who Wants to be a Millionaire


Further Reading

Cards Against Humanity Workers are Unionizing’ (VICE)

Graham, Nicole (2020) ‘Laughing With ‘Horrible’ People: Reaffirming Ethical Boundaries Through Laughter’In: Benko, Steven, ed. Ethics in Comedy: Essays on Crossing the Line. McFarland, Jefferson, pp. 210-222. ISBN 978-1-4766-7641-8. E-ISBN 978-1-4766-4097-6.