Jordan Klepper transforms from "dummy" comedian to handcuffed, hardcore political activist


Former Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper is bringing comedy to the frontlines of political activism in his new Comedy Central show, “Klepper,” premiering May 9 at 10:30 p.m. The comedian and writer, who recently made headlines for getting Hillary Clinton to read from Robert Mueller’s report, opened up on “Salon Talks” about embedding with activists who are leading advocacy efforts across the country, and his experience getting arrested while in the thick of marching for undocumented immigrants.

Klepper covers a myriad of topics in the docu-series, from veteran deportation, to anti-oil pipeline activism, to Native Americans struggling to gain visibility and veterans using wrestling to cope with PTSD. "I really did get something from all of them as a whole,” Klepper told SalonTV’s Alli Joseph, “the point of watching people in this country take action because they care about changing the landscape they live in."

Klepper described how his interest in these political issues extend beyond comedy. "I spent time with some undocumented students in Georgia, DACA students who want to but can't got to public colleges because of the restrictions on immigrants in Georgia. I spent a few weekends going to classes, and they hold their classes at undisclosed locations, because there are hate groups trying to flush them out," he explained.

"You really quickly understand that these are students who purely want to learn: they want to get back to their community...and you have a government that doesn't want to give them access to higher education. That was an episode where I found myself protesting alongside other people, and going to jail because of it."

Watch the episode above to hear more about how Klepper’s improv background (he cut his teeth in comedy in The Second City and Upright Citizen’s Brigade) was useful in diffusing some of the more challenging, stressful and “weird moments” he experienced in the field.


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Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.

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