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‘How do you laugh about death?’: the comedians tackling climate change

Comedians and comedy programs have started to find ways to speak to the climate crisis in their work but how can something so heavy create laughter?

When David Perdue applied to be part of a climate comedy program, he felt a little out of his element: “I couldn’t recall one time I’d ever had a conversation with my friends about climate change,” said the Atlanta-based comic. Perdue, who is Black, added, “But I knew it was an issue that was going to affect people who look like me, so I wanted to use comedy to address that.”

Perdue was one of nine comedians who took part in a nine-month fellowship where they learned about climate science and solutions and collaborated on new, climate-related material. The Climate Comedy Cohort produced shorts, toured together, and pitched ideas to television networks. Their work is part of a broader effort to bring some levity to a topic that is increasingly present in everyday life.

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