The Climate Comedy Cohort
The Climate Comedy Cohort is an unprecedented network of comedians who are coming together to learn, create hilarious new comedy informed by the hottest climate science, and take their work on the road in a series of live shows and short-form video 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.
Meet the Cohort
Los Angeles, CARead MoreLess
Brad Einstein is a comedian, writer, actor, Webby Award-winning wilderness production consultant and “Brilliant Comedy Mastermind” according to some very kind exaggerators at Time Out New York. Along with his creative partner Kyle Niemer, he is a two-time National Parks Service Artist-in-Residence. Past credits include the Second City National Touring Company, Billy on the Street, Shameless, Chicago Fire, The Onion News Network, Outside Magazine Online, and The Aspen Ideas Festival.
Atlanta, GARead MoreLess
David Perdue is a stand up comedian, actor, podcaster & proud southerner based in Atlanta,GA. David enjoys seeing his name spelled correctly, making his family & friends laugh, rooting for his favorite local sports teams & most importantly NOT being a former U.S. Senator.
New York, NYRead MoreLess
Harris Alterman is a comedian from Denver currently performing in NYC. He has performed on a number of festivals including The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival, San Francisco Sketchfest, and The High Plains Comedy Festival. Harris is also the winner of the 2017 New Faces Contest at the Denver Comedy Works.
Los Angeles, CARead MoreLess
Chicago, ILRead MoreLess
Kyle Niemer is an award-winning Chicago-based Director and federally recognized forest comedian. His work has aired nationally on Discovery, CBS and OutsideOnline; and has collaborated with noted brands across the country including HotWheels, MotorTrend and Guaranteed Rate. He is a Comedy Central Yes and Laughter Lab finalist, a two time NPS artist-in-residence and the 2022 Voice of the Wilderness recipient.
Brooklyn, NYRead MoreLess
Nikki Palumbo is a writer and comedian based in Brooklyn. Nikki recently wrote TikToks for Barbie (yes, that one) and previously wrote jokes for the Google Assistant (no, the other one). Nikki has contributed writing to The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, McSweeney’s, Reductress, and the MTV TV & Movie Awards: Unscripted.
Paola Sanchez Abreu
New York, NYRead MoreLess
Paola is an actor, writer, voiceover artist, activist, and an undercover woo girl living in New York City. Her TV credits include Chicago Med, Madame Secretary, and The Code. She is also an organizer with Sunrise Movement NYC, working to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.
Follow Paola on Instagram
Laugh along with us
The cohort concludes with a live comedy show tour (with a celebrity headliner) in select states this October. Stay tuned for updates about the cohort and to find out when tickets are available for a show near you by subscribing below.
The Climate Comedy Cohort functions as a 6-month fellowship and comedy contest. Throughout the program, the cohort will engage in conversations with climate and comedy experts and organizations, creative brainstorms, and peer-to-peer ideation. It culminates in a friendly pitch competition where the winning team or cohort member receives a production agreement and $20,000 towards making their project a reality.
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.
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.
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.