NEW YORK – The Weather Channel forecast: a high-pressure system of comedy.
The cable channel will feature Lewis Black — known for his rants on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" — in a handful of segments starting Wednesday night.
He's the first in what the Weather Channel hopes is a series of celebrity guests.
"We're going to try a few segments to spice things up a little bit," said Terry Connelly, the network's senior vice president and general manager.
Black gets the chance to try out some of the network's forecasting maps and chat on camera with weathercaster Dave Schwartz. He also gets to deliver a few comic riffs on global warming and airport delays, Connelly said.
Connelly quietly put out the word recently, asking celebrities to drop by if they're near the company's Atlanta headquarters. Black, a closet weather fan, was quick to reply.
The Weather Channel hopes occasional celebrity guests liven what's often a staid presentation. The network has begun experimenting with a weekend morning show that puts the weathercasters on couches instead of behind desks, and is considering a weekday show that Connelly called a cross between "The View" and Martha Stewart's daytime program.
The Weather Channel does well in the ratings when, say, there's a hurricane, but needs a boost for days of more sedate weather.
"Lewis Black on the Weather Channel is unpredictable," Connelly said, "and we're in the business of predictions."