If laughter is the best medicine, those in attendance at the Natural Resources Defense Council's "Night of Comedy" certainly received their fill. The annual fundraiser featuring a slate of notable comedians arrived at just the right time to help lighten a mood dampened by Republican gains in both the U.S. House and Senate and grim new climate change predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

"Let's be honest — if you love the environment, not a great election result," host Seth Meyers joked in comments recorded by The Hollywood Reporter. "At this point, a giant tornado could form and just start whipping its way across America, and in that wind it could grab every single handgun in this country, and then the tornado would start firing those handguns indiscriminately upon the citizenship of this great nation. But when it was over, you would say to those people, 'Will you admit now, after the gun tornado, that we have a gun control issue and a climate change issue?' They would say, 'No, that all happened because you let gays get married.' That's what you're up against, NRDC. You have to educate people like this."

Over the course of the evening, Meyers was joined on stage by comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer, Susie Essman and Larry David. 

"By the way, the first thing I did when she told me she wanted a divorce was turn on all the lights," quipped David about his ex-wife, NRDC board member and "An Inconvenient Truth" producer, Laurie David. "I wasn't allowed to plug anything in — all the plugs were on the floor or dangling from tables. If I wanted to watch TV, I had to move a cabinet!"

This latest fundraiser for the NRDC comes as the organization is preparing to counter what it believes will be a move by the new Republican majority to weaken environmental protections that have been decades in the making. 

"Many of these laws were passed with broad bipartisan support and signed by Republican presidents," NRDC President Frances Beinecke writes. "By calling for a radical overhaul of this tradition, current GOP leaders reveal how out of step they are with Americans. NRDC is willing to work with Republicans who want to move forward on environmental protection, but so far leaders are only taking extreme positions, calling for rollbacks and promoting climate denial."

The NRDC is asking supporters to sign a petition, asking Congress to support "people, not polluters" and derail what they see as future-Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell's environmentally unfriendly agenda. Jump here to add your name.

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Climate change jokes brings levity to NRDC fundraiser
Environmental org's 'Night of Comedy' brings laughter amidst a changing political landscape and growing concern over the impact of climate change.