Nick Kroll, Aparna Nancherla, Nikki Glaser are using humor to combat climate change: 'Let’s not die!'

A yellow and blue comedy poster advertising the "Let's Not Die" comedy event with comedians (from left to right): Nick Kroll, Aparna Nancherla, Esteban Gast, Nikki Glaser, Maya May, and Sean O'Connor

Our planet only has a decade left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change, but a group of comedians have a fairly good idea: “Let’s not die!” 

On April 29, in West Hollywood, CA, a stacked cast of comedians are headlining a “Let’s Not Die!” show — and they’re embracing “climate doom” head on. The lineup includes Nick Kroll, Nikki Glaser, Aparna Nancherla, Esteban Gast, Maya May, and Sean O'Connor.

Proceeds from the event will go to Yellow Dot Studios, a nonprofit founded and led by Adam McKay, the director and writer behind a long list of credits that include “Don’t Look Up,” “Vice,” “Step Brothers,” “Anchorman,” and “Succession.” 

In addition to their live fundraiser event, Yellow Dot Studios has produced a slate of filmed sketches in the last year, inspired by McKay’s “Funny or Die” sketch comedy roots. 

In January, “I Think You Should Leave” star Tim Robinson teamed up with Yellow Dot Studios to film a sketch called “You Expect Me To Believe That?” 

In the comedy sketch, Robinson plays a TV host named Ted Rack, who asks earth system scientist Henri Drake to level with him on climate-based research, in a way that “normal guys” like him can understand. 

Another recent sketch — inspired by “The Game of Thrones” — features Rainn Wilson as a climate scientist who is attempting to educate the rulers of Westeros on the dangers of the “Big Oil Alliance:” Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Shell, and Chevron. 

Time and again, Yellow Dot Studios uses comedy as a tool to take aim at the biggest forces behind pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental destruction. 

In an interview with the Guardian, McKay said that the dialogue around climate-based research from the scientific community is often clinical and polite despite the urgency that it requires. 

“It creates this kind of professional language that’s devoid of a lot of populist energy…of anger, sadness, laugh-out-loud comedy, absurdism,” McKay said. 

Ultimately, for McKay, he envisions Yellow Dot Studios as a platform to engage with viewers on climate justice in a way that inspires catharsis and action. 

And for any political leaders, lobbyists, and magnates watching, McKay is done with notions of “let’s make nice.”

“They only respond to pressure,” said McKay.

Well, pressure and a little pageantry. 

The “Let’s Not Die!” event marks the first time Yellow Dot Studios has staged a live comedy event, but the headliners are no stranger to climate change jokes. 

“I always say I don’t want kids [because] I don’t want them to suffer during the mass-extinction that climate change will soon bring,” Glaser posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

“But then again it’d be nice to have a little person who looks like me to hang out with during all the mayhem & death [because] my phone probs won’t have service.” 

Kroll also riffed on climate denial in a TikTok where he played “Greta Thunberg’s father.” 

“Hello, it’s me, Greta Thunberg’s father Marc,” he said in a Swedish accent, as heart filters framed his face. “I just wanted to say I don’t agree with my daughter…climate change is a hoax. I love using plastic bottles. I think fossil fuels are the coolest fossils.” 

Locals hoping to still snag tickets to the “Let’s Not Die!” live comedy show can visit the venue’s website

For $30, a ticket will get attendees into what Yellow Dot Studios is calling a very “hot” show. 

In an instagram caption, the organization teased: “This is going to be the hottest show since... [checks notes on 10 straight months of record hot global temperature, 390 days of record hot global oceans, 3 straight years of near-record low antarctic ice, highest CO2 in 3 million years]... it's gonna be hot!⁠”

Header image courtesy of Yellow Dot Studios

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April 29, 2024 9:28 AM
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