Sen. Al Franken On Washington Today

Jul 21, 2017

Minnesota Senator Al Franken joins us. The one time comedian shares his view of Washington now.

Al Franken was there from the beginning with Saturday Night Live. A fixture comedian for years. Straight up funny. Then he got the political bug, bigtime. Squeaked into the U.S. Senate from his home state, Minnesota. And now, Sen. Al Franken is in his second term and in the thick of the craziness in Washington. Asking the tough questions in hearings. Railing against Ted Cruz. Talking Trump. What’s he really think? We’ll ask. This hour On Point: Sen. Al Franken. — Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Al Franken, United States Senator for Minnesota. Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Author of, “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate.” Former writer and comedian on Saturday Night Live. (@alfranken)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Al Franken Has Been Sitting on Jokes for a Decade. Now He’s Ready to Tell Them. — “Franken, the comedy wunderkind, a founding writer on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and the author of such subtly partisan humor books as ‘Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot,’ has always been an irrepressible jokester by nature. As he tells it, the impulse to be funny took hold in early childhood and never let go. But when, a decade ago, Franken heard his country calling and embarked on a political career, he had to make the comedian’s ultimate Faustian bargain: To get and stay elected, he had to suppress his sense of humor and project an air of utmost seriousness. The people of Minnesota, after all, were not interested in being represented in Washington by a clown — a truth revealed to the candidate in multiple focus groups with Minnesota voters.”

The Atlantic: How Al Franken Got America to Take Him Seriously — “In many ways, Al Franken is the perfect interlocutor for this odd current moment, with its attendant Kathy Griffin press conferences and presidential gripes at Rosie O’Donnell and Onion headlines come true. When it’s hard to distinguish between a real Senate hearing and Saturday Night Live, get you a man who can do both. Franken, a 15-year veteran of the NBC comedy show, and, most recently, a two-term U.S. senator from Minnesota, certainly has some insight into the contemporary era of dysfunction. Or, as he succinctly summarizes it late in ‘Al Franken: Giant of the Senate,’ his seventh book, ‘Lately, things have been trending crapshow.'”

Boston Globe: Will Trump Jr. face off against Al Franken next week? — “Democrats on the committee will no doubt try to use his style to their advantage. While the Republican chairman said he wants to get to the bottom of questions surrounding Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, it’s unlikely that we will learn anything new. The president’s son has already released what he said was all email correspondence that took place, and he added more of the backstory this week on Fox News.”

Watch Al Franken On Saturday Night Live

Read An Excerpt From “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate”

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