Mardi Gras costumes inspired by Hurricane Katrina and its response. (Mark J. Sindler/Louisiana State Museums)
Mardi Gras costumes inspired by Hurricane Katrina and its response. (Mark J. Sindler/Louisiana State Museums)
The Phunny Phorty Phellows' parade bulletin illustration from the parade entitled “Who Will Wear the Breeches" ca 1896
Phunny Phorty Phellows parade bulletin (detail, Float 15, “New Woman”), 1896. Louisiana State Museums 1979.035.078.

Mardi Gras Satire: 
Puncturing Pomposity

The Presbytere
Fri, February 09, 2024

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and Louisiana State Museums announce a new exhibition Mardi Gras Satire: Puncturing Pomposity highlighting how satire has played a starring role in New Orleans Mardi Gras.  From the infamous Momus and Comus Reconstruction-era parades to the no-holds-barred offerings of Krewe du Vieux today, carnival krewes have long used the anonymity of the masks to target current events, social issues, and human foibles.

This exhibition features rare nineteenth-century parade bulletins and booklets of the Phunny Phorty Phellows and the Independent Order of the Moon, modern float figures, parade throws, and photographs, all illustrating the creativity that is part of Mardi Gras.

“Our unique sense of humor and creativity always helps us get through the rough times, like after Katrina and the BP oil spill,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.  “Satire during Mardi Gras is provocative, cathartic, and hilarious.  It lets us express our emotions and laugh at ourselves.” 

Inspired by the theme of the Krewe of Petronius’s 1994 ball, Petronius Punctures Pomposity, the exhibition opens on February 9, 2024.