In his early years in the U.S. Senate, Al Franken tended to avoid comedy.
In 2014, the Los Angeles Times even called him “dull”.
“I’m in a different job,” he said in an interview then. “My old job was being funny, basically. And that’s not my new job.”
When his book came out this year, Franken was funny again, discovering that comedy is great storytelling and great storytelling is part of the art of politics.
Now, Franken is teaming up with National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously and the online comedy site, Funny or Die, with a five-episode series, “Boiling the Frog,” to focus on the issue of climate change.
Comedy? He’s partnered with David Letterman.
“I thought Senator Al Franken had lost his comedic mojo,” series creator and executive producer David Gelber said in a release. “And I assumed that his mind was permanently stuck in the serious policymaker mode. But our team discovered that this guy still has it. And with great humor he’s able to tackle the hot-button and deadly-serious issue of climate change in a way that is both hilarious and informative.”
Explaining the title of the series, Gelber said, “If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it’ll jump right out. It’s a shock to the system. But if you put a frog in a pot of cold water, place it on a stove and slowing start heating it up, it turns out the frog will stay in the pot and let itself get boiled. We’re living in a time where politicians are more like the frog in the heating pot. Despite climate change staring them right in the face they’re not taking life-saving action.”
The boiling frog story, for the record, is a myth.