The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 12, No 1 (2024)

Possibilities and limits of political humour in a hybrid regime: a visual ethnographic study of the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party

Anniina Hyttinen


This article focuses on the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP), which can be defined as a joke party. MKKP uses humour to criticise the corruption flourishing around the governing party Fidesz as well as its simplified and racist form of political communication. However, MKKP’s critical stance extends to Hungarian politicians and the political system in general.

This visual ethnographic research focuses on the activities that MKKP organised during national days in Hungary between 2017 and 2022, which included a space launch, a peace march and an alternative national day celebration on 20 August. The events can be defined as parody performances. The field material is complemented by a semi-structured interview with the party activists. MKKP’s humour is critical and revealing in nature, aiming to expose the powerholders’ agenda. However, instead of ridiculing, MKKP’s humour is primarily corrective and supportive. As such, it has the potential to alleviate polarisation. In MKKP’s activism, creativity and cynicism exist in close proximity to one another. Humour also functions as a powerful antidote against simplified populist truths that rely on fearmongering and enemy images. In a hybrid regime, absurd humour can be used to reveal the inherent absurdities of the political reality. MKKP has occasionally succeeded in entering the state-controlled public sphere. During recent years, the party has started to address societal matters more seriously, without abandoning its roots as a humour party.


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