Building a New Network of Climate Comedians
Created by Generation180 and the Center for Media & Social Impact’s GoodLaugh Initiative
Introducing the Climate Comedy Cohort
The Climate Comedy Cohort is an unprecedented network of comedians coming together to learn, create hilarious new comedy informed by the hottest climate science, and take their humor on the road in a series of live shows, videos, and out-of-the-box content. Co-created and directed by Generation180 and the Center for Media & Social Impact’s GoodLaugh initiative, the Climate Comedy Cohort brings together diverse comedians from around the country to flip the script on the way we think about climate change. The ultimate aim: to leverage humor as a strategy to change the climate narrative from doom and gloom to “we’ve got this!”—and shift how people see their role in clean energy.
Each comedian selected will be awarded $5,000 and have the opportunity to participate in a friendly pitch competition for up to $20,000 of production funding toward a project they develop during the program. (See terms and conditions)
Apply to be a fellow now, or learn more about the program below.
How It Works
The Climate Comedy Cohort is a 6-month fellowship and comedy contest that identifies a small group of talented and diverse comedians from around the country to flip the script on the way we think about climate change. Our cohort will focus on creating original comedy and engage in conversations with climate and comedy experts and organizations, creative brainstorms and peer-to-peer ideation.
The educational program period will culminate in a friendly pitch competition where the winning team(s) or cohort member receives a production agreement and up to $20,000 towards making their project a reality. In addition, the comedians within the Climate Comedy Cohort will tour with a live comedy show (with a celebrity headliner) in select states. And finally, all cohort members will be featured in a social media takeover (or equivalent) on a high-profile distribution platform.
And to be clear, we take the comedy part really seriously. If it’s not hilarious, it doesn’t work. That’s why the Climate Comedy Cohort will be creatively led by a group of comedy writers, performers, and producers who have been all over television, popular podcasts, comedy clubs and festivals, and more. The comedy team has been in places like The Tonight Show, TruTv, VICELAND, Comedy Central, Spotify Original Podcast, Bonnaroo. We’ve worked on TV shows, feature films, web series, comedy-focused public engagement campaigns, and we’ve won stand up competitions and more.
Apply now to join the cohort.
Why Comedy and Climate Change?
Research across disciplines shows that comedy is uniquely persuasive and attention-getting when it comes to serious issues like the climate crisis. At the same time, we know there’s a fleet of diverse and passionate comedy writers and performers prepared to use their skills to improve the state of the globe. Thus far, comedy is a vastly untapped resource. It’s time to change the story.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Climate solutions and clean energy technologies are ready for mass adoption, but people are dismayed by climate gloom and doom, and widespread clean energy action isn’t happening fast enough. Should we be surprised that many of us are too freaked out to engage? Not really, especially if we know anything about the powerful role of positive emotion and simple common-sense messages for motivating action and change.
And this is where comedy comes in, to play a role it’s not yet played in the climate crisis: for hope and optimism and positive engagement, not satirical punches at climate denialism or scary messages. Here’s the big question: When we invite comedians to the crisis in a new way, what’s possible? We developed the Climate Comedy Cohort to find out.
Generation180 is a national nonprofit working to inspire and equip people to take action on clean energy. We are working to bring about a widespread cultural shift in how people get their energy, focusing on high-impact climate solutions like solar and electric vehicles. The climate comedy cohort is the newest initiative from Generation180 to use humor and creative communications to educate and inspire individuals to take action in their communities, with their shopping decisions, and at the voting booth. This includes our popular Flip The Script newsletter, original illustrations, and podcast Comedians Conquering Climate Change.
GoodLaugh is a comedy production engine and knowledge lab that brings together the most talented minds in comedy, social justice, entertainment, and philanthropy to collaborate and create comedy and research to help repair the world and build a more just, equitable future. As a program of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) at American University, GoodLaugh facilitates comedy production, studies, and convenings with social justice at the core. By making new comedy, distributing new knowledge and understanding, and bringing together unlikely players to leverage humor for social good, GoodLaugh believes that “laughing in the face of injustice” can solve, well, almost anything.
The Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), based at American University’s School of Communication, is a creative innovation lab and research center that creates, studies, and showcases media for equity, social change, and social justice. We are a “think and do” organization: In collaboration with leading social justice organizations and movement leaders, entertainment media companies, and philanthropy, we facilitate and produce research, convenings, and creative media that bolsters social change and progress around issues of racism and racial violence, environmental justice, gender equity, and other pressing societal challenges.