MIKE PESCA: That's global warming in the news pages, but lately that's not the only media space being given over to this hot topic. Here are the guys from South Park. [SOUTH PARK CLIP]
MAN: Within the hour, the temperature outside will fall to over 70 million degrees below zero. [DRAMATIC MUSIC UP AND UNDER]
MAN: Jesus, all we can do is try to wait it out as long as we can. [END OF CLIP]
MIKE PESCA: When global warming pops up in an unexpected place, look for Laurie David somewhere behind the scenes. David is an environmental activist and a co-producer of "An Inconvenient Truth", Al Gore's film. After the last presidential election, David decided to take out her rolodex and tackle global warming, her way. With media savvy and Hollywood connections, she set out to make global warming a pop culture phenomenon.
LAURIE DAVID: We did a prime time television special on TBS in November, and we had every major top comedian. We had Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller and my husband, Larry David. And they were all on the show and they all did comedy pieces on global warming.
COMEDIAN (MIMICKING PRESIDENT BUSH): I think the polar ice caps suck. Who cares about having a place where a bunch of penguins can have an orgy? [LAUGHTER]
LAURIE DAVID: Now, because of that show, "Good Morning America" did their first segment on the morning show on the issue, and they used the "Earth to America" as a reason for doing like seven minutes on global warming. Because of "Earth to America," Oprah Winfrey did her first show in 20 years on an environmental issue, and it was on global warming. This is just my little niche. I come out of the media. I'm particularly lucky. I have a well-known husband who has helped me have this platform, and I will be the first to use it, if it means getting the message out.
MIKE PESCA: I wanted to ask you about your husband, who is the producer and the star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and was also the co-creator of "Seinfeld." Obviously, you have a lot of passion for the issue. Does he ever say to you, honey, I know where you're coming from, but you know what, just not that funny. I mean, I'll drive a different car but I?m not going to weave it into the storyline?
LAURIE DAVID: Listen, I have pushed this relationship to the edge - [MIKE LAUGHING] and it's a miracle we're still together, to tell you the truth, because now - [OVERTALK]
MIKE PESCA: But does he argue on that particular point?
LAURIE DAVID: He's first and foremost a comedian, so you're completely right. The problem is he lives in this house, and he kind of has to get along with me. You know, he doesn't give me credit though for the reason why he's driving the hybrid car, the Prius, on "Curb Your Enthusiasm". He doesn't give me the credit. He says he bought it because it has the legroom he likes for his knee. [CLIP]
LARRY DAVID: She did not influence that decision at all. I like to stick my right knee out all the way to the right, and - and that car was the only car I found that didn't have a console. [LAUGHTER] It allowed me to stick my leg - [END OF CLIP] [MIKE LAUGHS]
LAURIE DAVID: I?-I obviously have influenced the guy, let's face it.
MIKE PESCA: Here's a quote that you said on the website, the Huffington Post, and you were talking about seeing the movie "Ice Age 2". You wrote, "There is no better way to educate the public than doing it without them knowing". Do you really think that's true?
LAURIE DAVID: Well, I mean, that goes to comedy and using comedy because comedy, you know, is really based in truth. I think when all the late-night comedians start doing Top Ten lists on, you know, Top Ten Reasons Why Global Warming Exists, or Top Ten Things George Bush Is Not Doing To Stop Global Warming", that's a very powerful thing. [VIDEO CLIP]
DAVID LETTERMAN: Top Ten Signs There Actually Is Global warming. Here's Tom Hanks, number ten. [DRUM ROLL]
TOM HANKS: I just bought oceanfront property in Topeka, Kansas.
DAVID LETTERMAN: There you go! [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] How about that? Topeka, Kansas. [END OF CLIP]
LAURIE DAVID: Basically getting a message out to the American people without, you know, hammering it on their head.
MIKE PESCA: I know that you have a heavy influence on what your husband drives on his show, but there is a very popular show called "E.R.". The co-creator of that is Michael Crichton, and he's one of the biggest, I guess you could call him a global warming denier in Hollywood. You know, if you bring your force to bear on the issue, and if he does his, is there going to be an arms race?
LAURIE DAVID: No, because first of all, you call him a denier, which he is, but I call him a nutcase. You know, what's dangerous about Michael Crichton and really criminal about what he's done, is that he's professing to, you know, be speaking from science, and he's not speaking from science. He's a science fiction writer.
MIKE PESCA: Well, you can influence a show and get a global warming message in there but, you know, he can influence a show and get a message that would drive you crazy into his show. Maybe, at some point, it's better not to take these, if you want to call them works of art, as means of getting a message to the public. Maybe it's better to just back off and let the shows be the shows and let the message be the message.
LAURIE DAVID: Well, I think entertainment would be very dull indeed if it didn't take on the issues of the day. What makes music so powerful and movies so powerful is the fact that they are, you know, reflecting what's happening today. They're relevant and they're, they're critical, so I encourage more of it.
MIKE PESCA: Thank you very much, Laurie David, global warming activist. Thank you, Laurie.
LAURIE DAVID: Mike, thanks so much for having me on, and everybody go to stopglobalwarming.org.
MIKE PESCA: Coming up, documentarians struggle with the concept of fair use and find it's unfair how much they can't use.