Conservative comedy is one of those really elusive things, like Bigfoot, or a Republican solution to a problem that doesn't involve a capital gains tax cut. I've suggested in the past that it's because so many conservative comics (or radio talk show hosts, who have many of the same skill sets) feel that comedy comes from pointing and laughing at the weak, as opposed to puncturing the gas bags of power like most liberal (and far more successful comics) do.
But I guess there's more to it than that.
This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert's political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert's political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.Emphasis mine. So they just don't get satire? Is is just that they're so convinced that they're right that they can't understand that someone might be mocking their positions? That's funny. I wonder how Stephen Colbert would play a story like this one?