Chapter 7. Being Berlusconi
The present study explores the function of satirical impersonation in contemporary Italian society through an examination of the work of satirist Sabina Guzzanti and her impersonation of the current Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The movement of Guzzanti’s work away from television after the removal of the satirical show RaiOt from the airwaves allows for an assessment of political impersonation as a humour strategy on both stage and screen. The analysis reveals the role which impersonation has to play in redefining the image of Berlusconi, the restrictions which are placed on television satire in the Berlusconi era, and the development and politicisation of humour which stage appearances have encouraged in Guzzanti’s work.