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Chuck Nice explains why he's hosting the EV-focused podcast 'Electric Generation'

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Comedian Chuck Nice joins Yahoo Finance to discuss his latest venture, hosting the 'Electric Generation' podcast, and what he's learned from talking to experts in the electric vehicle industry.

Video transcript

CHUCK NICE: Today, we're talking about those big diesel powered fleets of work vehicles. Because you see, some of the biggest opportunities for electric vehicles isn't what's in your garage. It's what's in your job's garage. Hey, I'm Chuck Nice. And this is "Electric Generation", presented by Ford, the podcast where we explore how electrification is changing this country.

ADAM SHAPIRO: OK the best part of this job, let's be honest, is that you get to interview people like our next guest. Chuck Nice is not only the podcast host and comedian who hosts "Electric Generation". But he's a comedian. And during the commercial break, just want to let you know, we were having a little bit of a comedy love fest because we have a mutual friend Garreth Foster. But we have to talk about the podcast before we talk about comedy. Are you a car nut? How did you get into the EV space with the podcast?

CHUCK NICE: So weird. And here's how. I've been active in the climate crisis awareness space for quite some time now. And I was super excited when Ford, and Yahoo Studios, and TechCrunch actually tapped me to say, hey. How'd you like to host this? Because it's been a passion of mine for a while. And it's great right now to actually be here with you, Adam, taking a break from one existential crisis that is omicron and the havoc that it's wreaking on our economy, or possibility of havoc, to another existential crisis that we all face in the climate crisis. Yeah so it's pretty cool.

ADAM SHAPIRO: So the podcast, "Electric Generation", you're partnered with Ford. We know Ford is making a big push. I mean the F-150 Lightning is selling out. The E Mach is an electric car. But they're not the only ones. You got Fisker, you got Tesla, you've got Lucid. Everyone's going down the pike with EV. As part of the podcast, I hope they let you get behind the wheel. Do they? I would not ride a motorbike. But I see you doing it.

CHUCK NICE: Well so right there, which is-- so first of all, what you're looking at right now is the Ford Mach-E 1400. And that particular episode, we did with a guy by the name of Vaughn Gittin, Jr., who is like a drift racer. And you want to talk about these cars not being your father's EVs, these things are super-- these are muscle cars that are just a little quieter. They're like real muscle cars. The muscle cars of the past were like vroooom and rumbling, and throaty growls, and all that kind of stuff kind of like the guy who looks like he has muscle, and then there's the guy who will just kind of break your neck.

And so that's what the real-- that's what these guys are now. These cars are super powerful. They're of course great for the environment, they have greater range than ever before. And more importantly, they are the future of our economy. Ford is putting so much money, research technology behind this. And more importantly, they're offering end to end solutions for businesses who are transforming their fleets to electric, which is where a huge majority of our carbon footprint rests. And so it's very important.

By the way, I don't work for Ford. I'm just impressed with what they're doing. And I'm happy that they're doing it. Because I'm a person who believes that we have to address the climate crisis. And I'm just happy to see that money is being put into this by corporations as large as this one.

ADAM SHAPIRO: When you talk to Ford or any of the folks at Ford, can you just please ask them on behalf of those of us who are 50 years or older, could they put in a sound effect for the generation that will never know the joy of grinding the gears because you can't get it into third? I want to ask you, I'll keep my day job. You're the comedian.

CHUCK NICE: No, that was actually funny, Adam. Just the sound effect is funny.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Oh yeah. "Electric Generation". Do you get to use what you do naturally as a comedian during the podcast? Because we want to play clips from some of your albums. We can't do that because the FCC might slam at us. But do you get to do that in the podcast?

CHUCK NICE: Well in the podcast, yeah. I try my best to bring some levity to the issue. Because it's a serious issue. It's also a dry issue. Let's be honest. Who wants to really talk about the transition of our economy over to electric? But it is necessary. It is so important that people become aware of it. And everything from the way you cook, which we have an episode with Chef Rick Bayless, to your transportation, which is what we were just talking about, to the future of recreation, which you saw me riding that electric motorcycle. I'm a big motorcycle enthusiast.

I have a couple. And I've never ridden an electric motorcycle before. And the truth was I was like, I don't want to lie about electric motorcycles. How am I going to handle this? And man, it was a blast. It was a blast. So yeah, we talk about everything electric and how our economy is going to move that way. And so I try to bring some levity to it. I try.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Speaking of bringing levity to things, as a comedian, how would you define the state of comedy today in the United States? I mean, I was watching a film, a Mel Brooks film from the 1970s. And I wonder if they could make that film today.

CHUCK NICE: Let me tell you something. There is nothing from the 1970s that you could make. Absolutely nothing. And I was about to say from, let's say, adult films, right on down to Archie Bunker. None of that. None of that. But I will say the state of comedy right now is tenuous. But I like it. Challenging, but I like it. We all know the controversy that Dave Chappelle just went through. And you and I were talking in the break about some bits that I have regarding the same subject matter.

And I would say that if I put that bit out right now, which I'm going to since we had that conversation, I'm going to put it out. You're going to get people who are offended. But comedy has always offended people. Always. It's just that now we're more sensitive. We're more prone to say something about it.

ADAM SHAPIRO: The bit is, and you can go right now to YouTube and listen to that one clip, uncomfortably hot dad. And the bit is about terminology we use today and the lesson that you got that, thanks to you, I got in Latin prefixes, and what they really mean. How's that?

CHUCK NICE: And by the way, thank you for doing that, because I am the only comedian that has jokes about a dead language. Way to get them, Chuck.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I wish we had more time because we need to laugh today. Omicron is a superhero that's really dragging us down.

CHUCK NICE: But what will lift us up is the hope that we get through electrification. And you can find that in "Electric Generation", which is my podcast. And please, get it wherever you get your podcasts. Support it. And tell somebody else about it.

ADAM SHAPIRO: "Electric Generation". TechCrunch is one of the places you can get that podcast. And don't forget, uncomfortably hot dad. Just Google it and it'll pull it up on YouTube. All the best to you, Chuck Nice. Thank you for joining us. We'll be right back.

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