Climate change is serious … so serious that it needs to be joked about, says Kenice Mobley. She’s the comedy projects coordinator at the Center for Media and Social Impact at American University.
“When it comes to communicating about hard topics, I think there’s this impulse to do like meaty, hard, dramatic work,” Mobley says.
But she says it’s usually people who are already concerned who seek out that content. Comedy may engage a wider audience.
“When it comes to actually getting people to … see something from a different perspective, comedy really is the best tool to do that,” she says. “Even if you don’t agree 100% with what the person is saying, you’re more likely to give it a listen because you’re getting that laughter out of it.”
So Mobley’s team partnered with the nonprofit Generation 180 to create the Climate Comedy Cohort.
It’s a six-month fellowship in which nine comedians learn from climate experts, create original comedy inspired by the topic, and get feedback.
Participants will perform live shows together and compete to win up to $20,000 to support a proposed project.
And Mobley hopes they all go on in their careers to get people laughing about climate change — and serious about fixing it.
Also see: Comedy can help you talk about climate change
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media