US Senator from Minnesota, former comic on Saturday Night Live
With his number one national best seller Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken emerged as one of the nation's top political humorists. Now with his current best seller, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, Franken battles the conservative movement head on with his incisive wit. He offers hilarious and insightful commentary on the state of national politics and world affairs. On March 31, 2004, Franken began a new career activity ad the featured talk show host on a new radio network called Air America Radio. His show is called "The O'Franken Factor."
In 1988, he provided commentary for CNN at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. And in 1992, he anchored Comedy Central's "Indecision '92", winning wide critical acclaim for his coverage of both conventions and election night. The New York Post called him "the Walter Cronkite of the 90's."
Also known for his work on Saturday Night Live, Franken is especially famous for his Stuart Smalley character. In 1975, Franken was part of the original writing staff that created the groundbreaking late night show. Franken remained with the original show until 1980, and returned in 1985. He stayed for another ten years, leaving after the 1994-95 season.
Franken has received four Emmys for his writing on SNLand a fifth for producing. Franken has also won recognition for his on-camera work, first as half the comedy team of Franken and Davis, then for his "Al Franken Decade" persona, and more recently for such characterizations as the one-man mobile uplink unit, Pat Robertson, Paul Simon, Paul Tsongas, and his most popular character, Stuart Smalley, the new age cable TV host.
I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me: Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley, Franken's first book, was published in 1992. It is currently in its fifth printing, and provided the basis of a movie entitled Stuart Saves His Family that Franken wrote and starred in for Paramount Pictures. Franken's album, You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You! was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Comedy" category.
A graduate of Harvard College, Franken grew up in Minnesota. He is married and has two children. They live in New York City.
Note: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from May 14, 2004.
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