David Letterman and Al Franken are talking about climate change—and hoping to get more people talking about it with their new Funny or Die web series, “Boiling the Frog.” In short episodes available to stream now on the Funny or Die site, the former Late Show host and the current Minnesota senator touch on a variety of important subjects, including carbon pricing, transitioning to alternative energy sources, and Gatorade bottles full of urine on the side of the road.
Letterman and Franken want to spur discussions on the topic of climate change by mixing facts in with their signature styles of humor. Says Franken, the former Saturday Night Live scribe, about their series: “We hope to bring some much needed attention to this critical issue and ultimately, to help encourage people in Minnesota, Dave's home state of Indiana, and all Americans to make their voices heard and join the fight to combat climate change.”
Letterman & Franken for Funny or Die: Facts & Fun
For Franken, the issue of combatting climate change has long been a topic of concern. Since Letterman left late night in 2015, he’s been enjoying his retirement while also looking for opportunities to make more of a difference in the world. Traveling to India to see the effects of environmental damage there for an episode of the series Years of Living Dangerously inspired him to want to do more: “To me, people ought to be aware of this, people ought to have this tucked in their wallet. People ought to walk around with this every day in the back of their mind, and people ought to be aware and be educated and looking forward to things that they might do to help their kids and their children’s kids."
It’s clear in the web series that Franken and Letterman are not only passionate about tackling climate change, but they also share a deep admiration and respect for each other. As Letterman tells Franken in Episode 4, “I am constantly looking for a version of your life, where what I do beyond is truly meaningful.” Franken returns the compliment in a later episode, when he shares with Letterman that he appreciates the former late-night host’s long, white beard for more than just aesthetic reasons: “I told them [my constituents] that your beard is a carbon sink.”
For more of Letterman and Franken’s hilarious banter, as well as their timely and important message, check out their “Boiling the Frog” series, available now on Funny or Die’s site.