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PopPolitics: Jordan Klepper on Finding Satire in the Serious Tragedy of Gun Violence (Listen)

Variety logo Variety 6/10/2017 Ted Johnson
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Jordan Klepper debuts a Comedy Central special on Sunday, “Jordan Klepper Solves Guns,” that includes plenty of dire statistics about the tragedy of gun violence but also tries to take on the nature of the gun debate.

They also had to make it funny.

“We didn’t want to be flippant, or degrade the people who are affected by gun violence in America,” Klepper tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “It is a very serious topic for sure. I think how we approached it is we wanted to point out the foibles in the human element of it.”

He adds, “I play a heightened version of myself, a liberal crusader, sort of the embodiment of what the right on the gun issues imagine. Some lefty, liberal coming out of New York who wants to take your guns by any means necessary. So I think if you let the joke be on me, in coming from a good place, but still not knowing how to affect change, then you get to make the people who actually know something about the gun debate.”

In the special, Klepper embeds himself with a Georgia militia and trains with a former Army special ops soldier, among other interview subjects, in his quest to try to change the minds of gun owners. But what he really discovers is that there actually is common ground on some aspects of gun legislation, like background checks and the gun-show loophole, that get lost in the polarized nature of the political debate.

“We kept finding that so many people agreed about the basics of the gun debate and what should be done on progress in any kind of gun legislation,” he says.

President Trump tweeted in response to the recent attacks in London, “Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That’s because they used knives and a truck!”

“With Donald Trump’s tweets it is sometimes hard to parse apart what he really means, if there is logic behind it,” Klepper says. “It felt like it was trolling for a response, which it indeed got. I think Donald Trump was alluding to the idea that we are not talking about guns in America right now when we really always should be. I think 93 people die every day because of guns and the fact that he kind of comes in and make a point that Americans like to over politicize the gun debate. It might be too political, but it definitely not talked about enough.”

Listen below:

Xavier Becerra on Trump, the Paris Accords, and California

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra talks about his decision to join with other state attorneys general to counter President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, and why that action may action help the environmental movement. He also talks about former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony.

“PopPolitics,” hosted by Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays from 2-3 pm ET/11-noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.

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