Excellent Amateurs: Joshua Willis

Joshua Willis: NASA climate scientist & comedian

Joshua Willis If Joshua Willis could have his way, he'd be cracking jokes about climate change on stage. Willis, '92, is a NASA climate scientist and amateur comedian.

For the past two years, Willis has been taking comedy classes at The Second City in Hollywood, an improv and sketch comedy school and theater.

Many of his colleagues were surprised to learn he was taking classes and investing so much time learning the comedic craft, Willis said.

But during the recent government shutdown, his comedic skills came in handy. Willis was lucky enough to keep working and "was able to crack plenty of jokes to keep everyone's spirits up," he said.

Willis said he enjoys not just making people laugh but communicating climate science to a broader community whenever he gets a chance. He recently was able to do a short video with Entourage's Adrian Grenier on climate change and is talking with Second City about writing a one-man show about global warming.

"(The show) would be incredibly satisfying and fun and just a great time," Willis said. "And would really marry together my job and my hobby in a unique way."

Until that happens, however, Willis will keep his day job and continue telling stories and jokes at his own expense.