Laughter is one of the most contagious, prosocial emotional experiences in our continuum.  It can help people from disparate backgrounds to bond and to address difficult topics. Research has found that films using a comedic approach are more likely to bring people together around issues, and to inspire hope, rather than fear.  Comedy has been found to reduce counter-arguing over controversial topics, such as climate change.  The use of comedy as a story-telling device for environmental justice is featured later in this report, in the section on Innovative Trends.


Bag It (2010) (see Case Study) uses humor to engage general audiences about the serious issues of plastic pollution. Charismatic host Jeb Berrier charms the audience with his light-hearted jokes and witty personality. The film takes viewers on an intimate personal journey, while interweaving comedic bits and environmental facts. This creative approach has motivated viewers to reduce their plastic consumption and initiate bag bans in communities.