The good actor, the axiom goes, can summon a compelling performance out of even a mere reading of the phone book. In the world of humor, the best satirists and commentators can likewise perform comedic alchemy for the masses, transforming topical matters that befuddle some people and bore the living phlegm out of others.

So it is that some of the better wits have been able to give the debt-ceiling debate a comedic pulse. The run-up to this afternoon’s Senate vote on the increase has inspired everyone from the New Yorker cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff to Stephen Colbert, to a duetting Jimmy Fallon and Brian Williams.

.Indebted to no one but their own inspiration, here are Six Eye-Catching Cartoons that raise the ceiling on topical comedy. To wit:

NEXT MEDIA ANIMATION:

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MIKE LUCKOVICH:

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(MIKE LUCKOVICH/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

PAT BAGLEY:

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(PAT BAGLEY/Salt Lake Tribune)

NATE BEELER:

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(NATE BEELER/Washington Examiner)

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STEVE BREEN:

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(STEVE BREEN/San Diego Union-Tribune)

TOM TOLES:

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(TOM TOLES/The Washington Post)

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