“She has a megaphone,” the group’s CEO and president Manish Bapna told Variety on Tuesday at the NRDC Night of Comedy at NeueHouse in Hollywood. “She can reach audiences that we can’t otherwise reach… The window is closing. We’ve got to move now. There’s an urgency to this. It’s about protecting the air we breathe. It’s about a better life. And she can tell that story.”
Louis-Dreyfus was honored at the event for her commitment to the NRDC and preventing climate disaster. The night featured performances from comedians Pete Holmes, Nicole Byer, Tig Notaro, Leslie Jones and Nick Kroll. Chelsea Handler also sent in a short comedy set via video. The event raised $1.8 million for the NRDC.
“I believe in the work [the NRDC] does because we have them to thank for really all of the environmental legislation and laws that are on the books right now,” Louis-Dreyfus explained. “I’m a believer in their advocacy work and their fight. And, if my being here helps shine a spotlight on them, then I’m all for it.”
Louis-Dreyfus, an outspoken political advocate and ardent climate change warrior, sees the NRDC as the last line of defense for the world’s climate. In her acceptance speech, she talked intensely about the planet’s current path towards climate disaster.
While the NRDC is doing substantial work in politics, science and law to fight the climate crisis, Louis-Dreyfus emphasized that anyone can help the environment.
“You can become involved with local environmental organizations in your own backyard,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “You can write to your elected officials. You can take to the streets when things aren’t what they need be, fight and protest. Taking action. Don’t just sit on your ass. Do something!”
With some of Hollywood’s most powerful executives — including president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav and former Disney bigwig Alan Horn — in attendance, the stakes were high for the six comedians who performed.
Jones didn’t hold back. Looking out at the crowd, the former “Saturday Night Live” player cracked, “This has got to be the whitest shit I’ve ever seen.”