Dan Gardner is the New York Times best-selling author of Risk, Future Babble, and Superforecasting (with Philip E. Tetlock). His books have been published in 25 countries and 19 languages. Prior to becoming an author, Gardner was an award-winning investigative journalist. More >

The Daily Show

As someone who watched the Daily Show for years, it was a thrill to be asked to be the straight man in a sketch about climate change. What does it take to be the straight man? First, I talked for a few minutes about the psychology of risk perception and how it diminishes the apparent threat of climate change. Then I sat like a block of wood for two hours and tried not to laugh as Roy Wood Jr. riffed.

I learned a few things from the experience. One, being a comedian is exhausting. For every one gag that aired, they tried maybe half a dozen. Roy works for a living. Two, the producers who develop ideas and oversee them to production are brilliant. And three, editing is all. It's seriously amazing how people can remember a snippet at 2:13:07 and combine it with a take at 0:57:13 and another at 3:23:39 and make it work.

You can watch it here or here.