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Who the hell is Al Franken? 
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Post Who the hell is Al Franken?
Al Franken Bio, by Eric Hananoki, Al Franken Web

Quote:
Al Franken was born on May 21, 1951. Originally from New York City, his family moved to a small, southern Minnesota town, Albert Lea, where his father opened a quilting factory. Despite his father's best efforts, the venture eventually failed.

At the age of 6, Franken moved to suburbs outside of Minneapolis, where he spent most of his adolescence. Here, he lived in a district known as "St. Louis Park," but, according to Franken, was also known as "St. Jewish Park." Franken's father worked as a printing salesman while his mother became a realtor.

Growing up, Franken was initially a Republican, following in his father's footsteps, who supported men like Herbert Hoover, Alf Landon and Thomas Dewey. However, in the wake of the '60s civil rights movement and Barry Goldwater's staunch opposition to civil rights, Al and his father changed party affiliation. From that time on, both Frankens considered themselves Democrats.

Al Franken began comedy at an early age. While a second grader, Franken watched in horror as a group of girl classmates performed a silly, second grade skit. Seizing the moment, Franken teamed with his boy classmates and wrote a skit mocking the girls. It left his female classmates in tears.

In high school, Franken performed well academically, maintaining an "A" average and participating on his high school wrestling team. He was accepted to Harvard University. During this time, Franken also performed stand-up comedy and stage shows with his partner, Tom Davis, a long-time friend from Minnesota. He was also active in drama clubs on campus. Franken also tried out for the Harvard Lampoon, but was rejected.

Upon graduating from Harvard in 1973 with a degree in general studies, Franken continued performing with Davis. Their witty-yet-raunchy performances, mainly for college crowds, caught the eye of then-unknown Canadian producer Lorne Michaels. Michaels, a fan of Monty Python, was contracted to develop a variety show for NBC. Michaels, seeing talent in the two, signed the duo for $500 a week each and flew them to New York City. Franken and Davis were the only people hired without actually meeting with Michaels. Had Michaels met with them, Franken often says, they probably would have never been hired. At the time, little did they know, Franken and Davis would help start one of the most innovative shows on television, "Saturday Night Live."

For his work on television, Franken is the recipient of four writing Emmys and a fifth for producing. During 1975-1980 on "Saturday Night Live," Franken created such sketches as "The Final Days," a parody of the Nixon presidency and "The Me Decade," a commentary about why the 70s was about him, Al Franken. He also frequently appeared in sketches as an actor with Tom Davis.

When Franken, along with Lorne Michaels and most of the cast , left SNL in 1980, he trekked to Hollywood and tried his luck at movies. Franken wrote several unproduced screenplays; one was produced, the1986 unsuccessful movie, "One More Saturday Night," which Al wrote and performed in with Tom Davis . Franken also made an appearance as a baffoonish baggage handler in the successful "Trading Places," with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd.

In 1985, Franken returned to Saturday Night Live, where he remained until 1995. Here, Franken expanded his acting resume, with impressions of Pat Robertson, Paul Simon and Paul Tsongas. He also developed his most popular character, self-help guru Stuart Smalley.

Aside from his work on SNL, Franken co-wrote and produced Touchstone Pictures' "When a Man Loves a Woman," with Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan. The movie was domestically and internationally popular, drawing strong reviews and over $100 million worldwide.

Franken also wrote and starred in "Stuart Saves His Family," a 1995 Paramount Picture based on his SNL character. Directed by Harold Ramis and co-starring Laura-San Giacomo and Vincent D'Onofrio, the movie received strong reviews but never clicked with audiences, generating only a million dollars in box office revenue. As Al Franken told Franken Web in an interview in 1996 about future Stuart endeavors, "when a movie loses 15 million bucks, studios don't exactly break down your door to make a sequel."

In 1997, independent film-makers Rob Rollins Lobl and Sam Sokolow approached Franken to film a cameo in their movie, "The Definite Maybe," the story of 25-year-old New Yorker searching for meaning in life. Franken played a Vagabond the title character meets in the subway.

A year later, by the request of Tom Hanks, Franken appeared in the HBO miniseries, "From the Earth to the Moon." Filmed in Florida, the $80 million production chronicled NASA's first babysteps into space. Franken played Presidential Science Advisor Jerome Weisner in the first segment of the film.

Franken is a well-known political satirist. In 1988, CNN hired him to provide commentary at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. In 1992 and 1996, he anchored Comedy Central's election coverage with then-Republican Arianna Huffington. Arianna and Al's writing for Comedy Central's "Politically Incorrect" in 1996 received an Emmy nomination. Franken has also contributed news commentary to Newsweek, The Nation and Rolling Stone, among others.

In 1998, Franken wrote and starred in NBC's "Lateline," a behind-the-scenes look at a "Nightline"-type news program. Featuring guest stars like Richard Gephardt, Jerry Falwell and Robert Reich, the political show received strong reviews (People Magazine gave the show an "A";) but in the wake of the Clinton-scandals, failed to capture an audience. NBC renewed the show after its 1998 run but cancelled it in 1999. Overall, "Lateline" filmed 19 episodes.

Franken is also a prolific and NY-Times best-selling author. "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough and Doggone It, People Like Me," was released in 1992 and chronicled the life of Stuart Smalley, Al's SNL self-help guru. A New York Times bestseller, it was also nominated for a Grammy in the "best comedy" category.

"Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" was released in 1996 and became an instant classic. Fueled by strong reviews (even the NY Post liked it) and a distaste for the "nutcase right," the book spent five weeks at the #1 spot and eight months on the list. The audio version also won a Grammy in the "best comedy" category. Indeed, Franken is among few political figures who can claim to have won a "Grammy."

His successful follow-up, "Why Not Me?" chronicling the fictional Al Franken presidency, enjoyed similar success, staying on the NY Times bestseller list for several months. In May of 2002, Franken published another book, "Oh, the Things I Know : A Guide to Success, Or, Failing That, Happiness," which poked fun at self-help books. That, too, was a NY Times bestseller and recipient of a Grammy nomination.

In 2001, Franken and his daughter played themselves in the movie, "Harvard Man." Franken has also made appearances on hundreds of radio and television shows, including "3rd Rock from the Sun," "The Tonight Show," "Hannity and Colmes" and "The Late Show." In 2000, Al Franken was a cast member of the short-lived animated series, "Clerks," based on the Kevin Smith cult film. In 2000, he also appeared in a commercial for Parkay Margarine.

Franken is an active lecture speaker. He has given speeches to hundreds of corporations, universities, and other organizations. He has twice been the keynote speaker at the White House Correspondents Dinner for President Bill Clinton, National Press Club, USO tours, DNC dinners and a commencement speaker at Harvard in 2002.

In early 2003, the NY Times wrote that Al Franken is considering a radio talk show on a network for liberals, who have traditionally been shut out of talk radio. Tentatively, an Al Franken talker is being planned for the Fall of 2003.

In August of 2003, Al released his fifth book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," which Franken describes as "a fair and balanced look at the right." The Fox News Channel sued Franken and his publishing company, Penguin Books, for trademark infringement. A judge later dismissed a motion to stop the publication of the book as "wholly without merit, both factually and legally."

Franken currently lives in New York City with his wife, Franni. He has two children, Thomasin and Joe.

Al Appearances.
Movies.
Harvard Man, 2000 ... Himself.
The Definite Maybe, 1997 ... Vagabond
Stuart Saves His Family, 1995 ... Stuart Smalley
When a Man Loves a Woman, 1994 ... Co-pilot
One More Saturday Night, 1986 ... Paul Flum
Trading Places, 1983 ... Baggage Handler #1
Tunnel Vision, 1976 ... Al

Writing.
Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash (TV Special), 2000
LateLine (TV Series), 1998
Stuart Saves His Family, 1995
67th Annual Academy Awards, The (TV Special), 1995
Politically Incorrect (TV Series), 1996
When a Man Loves a Woman, 1994
Saturday Night Live Goes Commercial (TV Special), 1991
Best of Dan Aykroyd (TV Special), 1986
One More Saturday Night, 1986
Best of John Belushi (TV Special), 1985
Franken and Davis at Stockton State (TV Special), 1984
Coneheads, The (TV Special), 1983
Saturday Night Live (TV Series)
Paul Simon Special, The (TV Special), 1977

Producing.
SNL: Presidential Bash (TV Special), NBC, 2000 ... Consulting Producer
Lateline (TV Series), NBC, 1998 ... Executive Producer
When a Man Loves a Woman, Touchstone Pictures, 1994 ... Executive Producer
SNL Goes Commercial (TV Special), NBC, 1991 ... Producer
Saturday Night Live (TV Series), NBC, 1985-1995 ... Producer

Television Shows.
ENTERTAINMENT.
Saturday Night Live, NBC, Dec 14, 2002 ... Stuart Smalley (guest) with Al Gore.
New York Friars Club Roast, Comedy Central, Oct 1, 2002
Brilliant But Cancelled: The Perfect Pitch (TV Special), 2002 ... Himself
Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash (TV Special), 2000 ... Himself/Pat Robertson
Clerks (TV Series), ABC, 2000 ... Mayor of Leonardo
TV Academy Hall of Fame Awards, UPN, March 11, 1999 ... Himself
From the Earth to the Moon (miniseries), HBO, 1998 ... Presidential Science Advisor Jerome Weisner
Lateline (TV Series), NBC, 1998-1999 ... Al Freundlich
Gilda Radner: The E! True Hollywood Story (TV Special), 1997 ... Himself
The Larry Sanders Show (TV Series), HBO, Feb 19, 1997 ... Himself
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist (TV Series), Comedy Central, 1997 ... Himself
3rd Rock from the Sun (TV Series), NBC, October 27, 1996 ... Frank Gansmiller
Politically Incorrect (TV Series), Comedy Central, 1996 ... Himself (Indecision '96 Correspondent)
Indecision '92, Comedy Central, 1992 ... Himself (Indecision '92 Correspondent)
Franken and Davis at Stockton State (TV Special), 1984) .... Himself
The Rutles (TV-Movie), 1978 ... Decline's Henchman
Saturday Night Live (TV Series), NBC, 1975-1980; 1985-1995 ... Various.

TALK / NEWS SHOWS (abbreviated)
Lester Holt Live, MSNBC, June 2, 2003.
Book TV, CSPAN2, May 31, 2003.
Donahue, MSNBC, January 6, 2003.
This Week with George Stephanopolous, ABC, December 29, 2002.
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Dec 19, 2002
Nachman, MSNBC, Dec 16, 2002
Saturday Night Live, NBC, Dec 14, 2002
Fox and Friends, FNC, Dec 1, 2002
Fox Wire, FNC, Nov 30, 2002
The Saturday Early Show, CBS, Oct 26, 2002
WB11 Morning News, Oct 11, 2002
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Sept 14, 2002
Donahue, MSNBC, Sept 4, 2002
Tim Russert, CNBC, August 24, 2002
The View, ABC, August 13, 2002
Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, August 5, 2002
Love, Hate and Joy, ABC Family, August, 2002
Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, June 27, 2002
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, June 22, 2002
The Rosie ODonnell Show, Syndicated, June 11, 2002
American Perspectives, CSPAN, June 9, 2002
WFLD in the Morning, WFLD-FOX, June 6, 2002
Wolf Blitzer Reports, CNN, May 29, 2002
CANADA AM, CTV, May 24, 2002
Good Day Minnesota, KMSP, May 17, 2002
Fox News in the Morning, WFLD, May 15, 2002
WGN Morning News, WGN, May 15, 2002
WB2day, KWGN, May 13, 2002
7 News At Eleven, KMGH, May 13, 2002
Mornings Live on Q, KCPQ, May 8, 2002
World News Now, ABC, May 6, 2002
KRON 4 Morning News, KRON, May 6, 2002
WCBS-AM, WCBS, May 6, 2002
WHAS 11 News at Noon, WHAS, May 6, 2002
The Today Show, NBC, May 2, 2002
The View, ABC, May 2, 2002
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, May 1, 2002
Newsnight with Aaron Brown, CNN, April 29, 2002
Biography, AE, April 22, 2002
KOVR 13 News At Six, KOVR, April 19, 2002
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, March 23, 2002
National Press Club, CSPAN, Feb 28, 2002
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Jan 31, 2002
In Food Today, TVFood, Jan 24, 2002
CBS Sunday Morning, August 26, 2001
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, August 23, 2001
In Food Today, TVFood, June 20, 2001
Greenfield at Large, CNN, June 7, 2001
Politically Incorrect, ABC, May 24, 2001
Good Day Philadelphia, WTXF, May 21, 2001
Showbiz Weekend, CNN, April 21, 2001
The Spin Room, CNN, March 15, 2001
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Feb 20, 2001
CNN Morning News, CNN, Jan 16, 2001
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Jan 3, 2001
Hardball, MSNBC, Dec 29, 2000
Politically Incorrect, ABC, Nov 29, 2000
Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, Nov 29, 2000
Fox News Live, FNC, Oct 26, 2000
In Food Today, TVFood, October 19, 2000
Newschannel 5 At Ten, KSDK, October 17, 2000
World Business This Morning, CNN International, October 4, 2000
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Sept 7, 2000
Larry King Live, CNN, August 25, 2000
The News with Brian Williams, MSNBC, August 23, 2000
Politically Incorrect, ABC, August 19, 2000
Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, August 17, 2000
Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, August 8, 2000
The Edge with Paula Zahn, FNC, August 7, 2000
Showbiz Today, CNN, August 3, 2000
World News Now, ABC, July 25, 2000
Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, June 1, 2000
Politically Incorrect, ABC, May 11, 2000
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, May 4, 2000
The Edge with Paula Zahn, FNC, April 18, 2000
The View, ABC, March 21, 2000
Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, March 14, 2000
Larry King Live, CNN, March 13, 2000
Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, March 9, 2000
In Food Today, TVFood, Feb 21, 2000
MSNBC Campaign 2000, MSNBC, Feb 11, 2000
The O'Reilly Factor, FNC, Feb 10, 2000
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Feb 1, 2000
The Martin Short Show, Synd, January 24, 2000
Good Morning America, ABC, January 13, 2000
Equal Time, MSNBC, January 13, 2000
Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, Dec 2, 1999
7 Eyewitness News, KABC, Nov 19, 1999
News 5 At Noon, KCTV, Nov 16, 1999
Rivera Live, CNBC, Nov 9, 1999
Special Report with Brit Hume, FNC, September 24, 1999
News 7 at 11, WJLA, June 23, 1999
Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, April 10, 1999
Regis and Kathie Lee, ABC, March 16, 1999
Northwest Afternoon, KOMO, Feb 26, 1999
7 News At Eleven, KMGH, Feb 22, 1999
Nine News Four O'Clock, KUSA, Feb 22, 1999
The O'Reilly Factor, Feb 12, 1999
Regis and Kathie Lee, ABC, Feb 8, 1999
Saturday Monring, CBS, Feb 6, 1999
Hannity and Colmes, Feb 5, 1999
CNN Sunday Morning, Jan 24, 1999
Weekend Edition, CNN, January 23, 1999
News 4 at 11, WRC, Jan 21, 1999
Politically Incorrect, ABC, January 14, 1999
Today Show, NBC, January 12, 1999
Nine News Four O'Clock, KUSA, Jan 12, 1999
4 San Antonio Living, KMOL, January 11, 1999
KARE 11 News Today, KARE, January 11, 1999
Midday on 5, WPTV, January 11, 1999
News 8 at Noon, WOOD-TV, January 11, 1999
Chicago Daytime, WMAQ, January 11, 1999
Showbiz Today, CNN, January 5, 1999
E! News Daily, January 5, 1999
Headline News, CNN, Jan 5, 1999
Good Day new York, WNYX, Dec 6, 1998
Showbiz This Weekend, CNN, Nov 21, 1998
Regis and Kathy Lee, ABC, Sept 22, 1998
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, Sept 2, 1998
Politically Incorrect, ABC, April 28, 1998
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, April 4, 1998
Channel 4 News, KNBC, March 31, 1998
The Daily Show, March 30, 1998
Late Show with David Letterman, March 27, 1998
The View, ABC, March 24, 1998
Regis and Kathie Lee, March 23, 1998
Today Show, NBC, March 17, 1998
E! News Daily, E!, March 17, 1998
Access Hollywood, Synd, March 17, 1998
The O'Reilly Factor, FNC, March 17, 1998
MTV Live, MTV, March 16, 1998
The Tonight Show, NBC, March 13, 1998
Politically Incorrect, Feb 24, 1998
Larry King Live, Feb 20, 1998
Street Sweep, CNNfn, Feb 18, 1998
Early Prime, CNN, Jan 2, 1998
Showbiz Today, CNN, Jan 2, 1998
Headline News, CNN, Jan 2, 1998
Late Show with David Letterman, Dec 31, 1997
Nightside, NBC, Dec 19, 1997
News 2 Houston First at Five, KPRC, Dec 19, 1997
Good Morning Arizona, Dec 19, 1997
Good Day Philadelphia, Dec 19, 1997
Good Day New York, Dec 19, 1997
Jeopardy, Syndicated, November 18, 1997
Politically Incorrect, ABC, Nov 6, 1997
The News with Brian Williams, MSNBC, October 17, 1997Chris
Late Show with David Letterman, Sept 18, 1997
Politically Incorrect, ABC, July 17, 1997
After Breakfast, Fox Network, June 9, 1997
Equal Time, CNBC, May 19, 1997
Politically Incorrect, ABC, May 17, 1997
Charles Grodin, CNBC, May 7, 1997
Politically Incorrect, ABC, March 1, 1997
Politically Incorrect, ABC, January 18, 1997
Crossfire, CNN, Dec 31, 1996
Late Night with Conan O'Brien; NBC, November 7, 1996
WBAL TV 11 News at Noon, WBAL, Oct 22, 1996
Live on Seven; KIRO, October 22, 1996
The National Press Club, CSPAN, October 15, 1996
Politically Incorrect, Comedy Central, August 29, 1996.
CNN Election News, CNN, August 27, 1996
CNN Election News, CNN, August 15, 1996
CBS This Morning, CBS, May 8, 1996
Larry King Live, CNN, April 12, 1996
2 Newstream Sunday, KTVI, March 3, 1996
Good Day Atlanta, WAGA, Feb 13, 1996
CBS This Morning, Feb 9. 1996
Politically Incorrect, Jan 23, 1996
World News Tonight, ABC, August 10, 1995
Late Night With Conan O'Brien, April 27, 1995
20/20, ABC, March 11, 1994
Sonya Live, October 29, 1993
Crossfire, Jan 1, 1993

Radio. (abbreviated)
WNYC-AM, December 27, 2002
WNYC-AM, Oct 31, 2002
WNYC-AM, Aug 21, 2002
WKQX-AM, June 28, 2002
WKQX-AM, May 15, 2002
WCBS, May 6, 2002
KROQ, May 3, 2002
WNYC-AM, May 1, 2002
Fresh Air, NPR, April 30, 2002
The Morning Show, WJR-AM, April 30, 2002
Howard Stern, July 13, 2001
The Mitch Albom Radio Show, May 7, 2001
Howard Stern, March 3, 2001
To the Point, KCRW, Feb 16, 2001
Fresh Air, NPR, Oct 31, 2000
The John and Ken Show, KABC, August 1, 2000
San Diego First News, KOGO, Feb 18, 2000
The Connection, WBUR, Jan 28, 1999
Mr. KABC, KABC, January 15, 1999
The Howard Stern Show, January 12, 1999
Peachtree Morning, WXIA, January 12, 1999
Imus in the Morning, July 8, 1998
Peachtree Morning, WXIA, March 17, 1998
Fresh Air, NPR, March 12, 1998
Public Interest, WAMU, March 10, 1998

Print. (abbreviated)
Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them, Dutton Books, 2003
"Norm and the Other 1 Percent." Minn Star Tribune, April 13, 2003
Oh, The Things I Know, Penguin Books, 2002
"Is George W. Bush Dumb?" Rolling Stone, Oct 2000
"Block That Rush." The Nation, June 19, 2000
"Home-Fried Franken." George, Dec/Jan 2000
"Franken Sense." George, Jan 1999
Why Not Me? The Making and Unmaking of the Al Franken Presidency, Delacorte, 1999
"A Father and Son Learn From Newt's Mistakes." Roll Call, January 20, 1997
Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, Delacorte, 1996


Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Fri Nov 21, 2003 10:02 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
It looks like there is an EZBoard devoted to Al Franken that gets quite a bit of traffic. It would be nice if some of these fans came over to discuss this book with us.

Al Franken board

Feel free to invite anyone you like...

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Fri Nov 21, 2003 11:05 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
I made a post inviting their members to come by to join in on the discussion.

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Fri Nov 21, 2003 11:13 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
Check out these pictures of Al Franken. I didn't realize who he was till I saw some of these pictures from Saturday Night Live. :rollin

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Fri Nov 21, 2003 11:16 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
Quote:
I didn't realize who he was till I saw some of these pictures from Saturday Night Live.


------------------------------------------------------
"It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once."
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Sat Nov 22, 2003 1:41 am
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
Thank you Chris for your time into researching Al's history. I didn't know he originated Saturday Night Live, not that I watched any of those programs. But SNL was famous enough to have short clips on national news making good fun of the Candidates and the Presidents who didn't seem to mind and also joined in the fun.

Monty Vonn
Meme Wars!




Sun Nov 23, 2003 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
Monty

The information in my first post was copied and pasted off another web site, so don't think I did all the research myself. Oh, I set out to do the research, but when I stumbled across the Al Franken Bio, by Eric Hananoki, located on the Al Franken Web page I didn't have to.

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:32 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
Alice Franken is a lying liar of the first degree.




Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:25 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
Maybe so...but would you care to be a bit more specific?

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:41 pm
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Post Re: Who the hell is Al Franken?
If anyone wants to find out more about Al Franken, he is being interviewed on Fresh Air, an NPR show today.
He is, reportedly, going to present some of his recent comedy material.

Check your local NPR schedule for Fresh Air.

Peter Dunning




Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:27 am


Post Geez Youngsters
Al Franken and Tom Davis(Franken and Davis) were as regular on SNL in the 70s as Belushi, Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.




Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:15 pm
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