Funny or Die: Franken and Letterman Take on Climate Change in Hilarious Web Series

Joe Romm

Joe Romm Founding Editor, Climate Progress

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has finally brought his trademark sense of humor to climate change.

The former Saturday Night Live comedian, now a U.S. senator, teamed up with comedian David Letterman on the first season of a new web series, “Boiling the Frog with Senator Al Franken.”

The series was created by the website Funny Or Die and “the geniuses behind Years of Living Dangerously,” as Franken describes the producers of the Emmy award-winning climate change series in the hilarious first video.

Viewers of the series may recall that the second season, which aired on National Geographic Channel last fall, opened with Letterman traveling to India to see how that country is dealing with climate change and making increased use of solar power. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I serve as chief science adviser for the series).

“In Season Two we learned the value of integrating comedy into climate change storytelling,” Years of Living Dangerously executive producer Joel Bach explained in an email to ThinkProgress. “We decided that if we were ever to do a short-form series on the intersection of politics and climate, Senator Al Franken would top the list.”

Bach, a former 60 Minutes producer, added, “fortunately Senator Franken loved the idea and the result is ‘Boiling the Frog,’ a series that we hope will gives audiences a sense of the many hurdles lawmakers face when trying to make progress on climate. All with a few laughs.”

Franken has emerged as a true climate champion, fighting back against the misinformation and outright climate science denial spread by the Trump administration, as we have been reporting.

Other episodes in the web series have Franken telling Letterman who is really behind the inaction in Washington on climate change; the two men taking on Trump for having no idea why coal jobs are really disappearing; a look at why Letterman’s beard is actually a weapon in the fight to control carbon emissions; and Letterman answering Franken’s question, “Dave, when you were in India, why did you seem so stupid?”

You can watch the entire web series right now on


Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work