What is the difference between a satire and a parody?

Is there one? Does a satire have to be funny? I’ve read two books that claim to be satires that aren’t the least bit funny.

A parody is a purposefully bad recreation of an existing work, usually to point out the work’s flaws, while a satire is - well, like a parody of real life.

A satire mocks the conventions, themes and elements of a genre, usually to make a point or argument.

A parody mocks a specific work or the ouevre of a specific artist.

Difference is mostly in tone. Parodies tend to be sillier, satires can be quite bleak.

Some parodies are quite brilliant and affectionate, actually.

Quick and dirty:

Parody is style, satire is substance.

With respect to Mr. Mapcase: if the parody is substantive but lacking style and the satire’s stylish without much substance, then see post #2.

NoOooo. I meant #3. NUMBER THREE!

No, and it rarely is (to me, anyway).

I don’t know of any successful satires without some elements of humor, though.

Here’s some satires:
BAMBOOZLED (satirizes media maltreatment of black culture)
DR. STRANGELOVE (satirizes paranoia during the Cold War)
SAVED! (satirizes zealotry in Christian values)
NATURAL BORN KILLERS (satirizes media glorification of serial killers)

… compared with parodies:
AIRPLANE! (parodies 70’s disaster movie genre, particularly AIRPORT)
SCARY MOVIE (parodies the SCREAM movie franchise and the horror genre)
AUSTIN POWERS (parodies the 007 franchise)
I’M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA (parodies the blaxpolitation genre)

I can’t decide if LAST ACTION HERO was meant to be more satirical or parody.

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Swift’s dry wit is in suberb form, from his ‘American acquaintance’s assurances’ of the taste of roast infant to how Papist children’s meat should fetch good prices during Lent.

Orwell’s mockery of communist dogma, manifestoes and slogans is good for some chuckles: “Four legs good, two legs bad!”

I didn’t say gut-bustingly funny, just elements of humor. The venue for satire is the theater of the absurd.

According to yourDictionary.com, a satire is:

" A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit."

According to the same source, a parody is:

" A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule."

Humor is not necessary for satire, while it is an essential part of parody. Most of Ayn Rand’s works are satires, and she wasn’t exactly known as a barrel of laughs. The Police Squad TV series was a parody of TV crime shows, especially those by Quinn Martin.