Why Jordan Klepper traded in his math degree for a career in comedy

Comedian Jordan Klepper didn’t have aspirations for a stand-up career in high school, but his nerdy interests in law, math and mock trial did play a role in leading him to improv and his passion for humor, he shared on “Salon Talks.”

The former correspondent from “The Daily Show” leads a new Comedy Central docu-series “Klepper,” where he embeds with America’s prominent activist movements, all while cracking jokes. When Salon’s Alli Joseph asks about his comedy roots in improv, he explained why the performative nature of mock trial helped push him into the improv community.

“I watched ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ with my mom because it aired after ‘General Hospital.’ I loved it. My freshman year in college I went and there was an improv group and I was like, ‘I love that. I should try that. I should meet people.’ I like performing, kind of. I did mock trial and I thought that was perform-edy,” Klepper shared.

Klepper later went on to perform at Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade. And while full-time comedian wasn’t the most obvious career path for Klepper, after creating shows like “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper” and now “Klepper,” it’s led to an expanding career where humor meets politics meets activism. “I didn't necessarily think that was what my life goals were going to be, but I knew there was something special there and it led me to be more and more curious about it,” Klepper said.

Watch the video above to learn more about Klepper’s career in comedy and watch the full episode to hear about the embarrassing outfit he wore while wrestling veterans.

About “Salon Talks”

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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