I am not making this up! “The Irony of Satire” is the actual name of a study done at Ohio State University on “biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report”. The study compared conservatives and liberals, and how they reacted to Stephen Colbert.
Interestingly, both groups thought that Colbert was funny. But the ironic part is that “conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said” (in other words, they think he’s funny, but they don’t actually get the joke). Liberals, on the other hand, “were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements”.