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Al Franken

Al Franken

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Also Known As: Alan Stuart Franken Died:
Born: May 21, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, actor, author, producer, commentator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As a sketch comedy writer and featured performer on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), Al Franken used biting satire and casual irony to skewer all things cultural and political. Partnered with high school friend Tom Davis, Franken earned big laughs - and the occasional outrage - for his shock jock-like parodies and sketches that fearlessly targeted presidents, celebrities and even the president of NBC, which resulted in Franken's five-year departure from the show. When he returned in 1985, Franken was more subdued, though no less funny, veering away from the over-the-top satire of the past. Always looking to expand into different arenas and never afraid to back down from a fight, Franken delved deeper into his political interests, particularly after he left "SNL" in 1995. Fueled by his outrage at the conservative movement in the mid-1990s, Franken wrote several bestselling books that skewered the right in hilarious fashion, while in the next decade he took the fight to the airwaves in 2004 when he landed his own highly-rated radio show on the fledgling liberal network, Air America. A regular participant on USO tours who frequented war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, Franken completed the...

As a sketch comedy writer and featured performer on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), Al Franken used biting satire and casual irony to skewer all things cultural and political. Partnered with high school friend Tom Davis, Franken earned big laughs - and the occasional outrage - for his shock jock-like parodies and sketches that fearlessly targeted presidents, celebrities and even the president of NBC, which resulted in Franken's five-year departure from the show. When he returned in 1985, Franken was more subdued, though no less funny, veering away from the over-the-top satire of the past. Always looking to expand into different arenas and never afraid to back down from a fight, Franken delved deeper into his political interests, particularly after he left "SNL" in 1995. Fueled by his outrage at the conservative movement in the mid-1990s, Franken wrote several bestselling books that skewered the right in hilarious fashion, while in the next decade he took the fight to the airwaves in 2004 when he landed his own highly-rated radio show on the fledgling liberal network, Air America. A regular participant on USO tours who frequented war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, Franken completed the transformation from entertainment to politics when he ran for United States Senator in 2008, making him one of the rare politically active celebrities who sought to use his fame for the common public good.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Hot Coffee (2011)
4.
6.
9.
10.
 Stuart Saves His Family (1995) Stuart Smalley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Formed writing and performing partnership with Tom Davis who he met in high school
:
Worked on the fringes of the Los Angeles comedy scene in the early 1970s
:
Played Santa Claus and Winnie the Pooh at a local Sears department store
1975:
Met with producer/writer Lorne Michaels who was assembling the writing staff for a late night sketch comedy-variety show
1975:
Franken & Davis filled one apprentice writer slot (splitting the salary of $350 a week) while Alan Zweibel filled the other
1975:
Worked first as apprentice writers, then subsequently staff writers and as occasional performers on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC); left the show with producer Lorne Michaels at the end of Season five
1977:
First TV special, co-wrote "The Paul Simon Special" for NBC
1978:
Had cameos (with Davis) in "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash" as promoter Ron Decline's (John Belushi) henchmen
1980:
Attacked then-NBC president Fred Silverman in the subsequently notorious "A Limo for the Lame-O" tirade on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
1981:
Franken & Davis hosted the second "Saturday Night Live" produced by Dick Ebersol
1983:
Appeared (with Davis) in the Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd film "Trading Places" as the baggage handlers with the gorilla on the train
1984:
Worked as staff writers (with Davis) on "The New Show" (NBC), a short-lived variety series produced by Michaels
1985:
Returned to "Saturday Night Live" (NBC) as writer, producer and as an occasional performer (best known for Stuart Smalley) when Michaels returned to oversee show; left the show in protest over losing the role of "Weekend Update" anchor to Norm MacDonald
1986:
Feature screenwriting debut (with Davis) with "One More Saturday Night"; also co-starred together as rock singers in a band called "Bad Mouth"
1987:
Hosted (with Davis) "High School Video Yearbook with Franken & Davis" on Cinemax
1988:
Provided commentary for CNN at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta
1988:
Was a writer for "The 40th Annual Emmy Awards"; show executive produced by Lorne Michaels
1992:
Anchored "Indecision '92," Comedy Central's coverage of the Democratic and Republican conventions in NYC and Houston
1992:
Anchored Comedy Central's election eve coverage of the 1992 Presidential election
1992:
Served as a producer, writer (of "special material") and performer for the "Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash" (NBC)
1993:
Published first book, <i>I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley</i>
1994:
Feature co-producing (with Simon Maslow and Ron Bass) debut, "When A Man Loves A Woman"; also co-scripted with Bass
1995:
Wrote special material for David Letterman for "The 67th Annual Academy Awards"
1995:
Adapted his book for the screenplay of the unsuccessful comedy feature "Stuart Saves His Family"; also played the leading role
1996:
Served as a political commentator during the presidential election on Comedy Central's "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher
1996:
Wrote the best-selling book, <i>Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations</i>
1998:
Co-created and starred in the NBC sitcom "LateLine" until it was canceled in its second season
2000:
Wrote and produced the "Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash 2000" (NBC)
2004:
Made his broadcasting debut with "The Al Franken Show" on Air America Radio (originally titled "The O'Franken Factor")
2004:
Received a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album for <i>The O'Franken Factor</i>
2006:
Was the subject of the documentary film "Al Franken: God Spoke" that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival
2007:
Announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate for Minnesota in the 2008 election
2009:
After a much disputed race, Franken was declared the winner of the Minnesota senate race by the State Supreme Court
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Education

The Blake School: Minneapolis , Minnesota - 1969
Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1973

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Franni Bryson. Born c. 1952; married in 1975.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Joe Franken. Printing salesman. Could not come to the hospital for Franken's birth due to a bad back; died in 1993.
mother:
Phoebe Franken. Former actor; real estate agent.
daughter:
Thomasin Davis Franken. Born c. 1981; named after former writing partner Tom Davis.
son:
Joe Franken. Born c. 1985; named after Franken's father.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley" Dell
"Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations" Delacorte
"Why Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency" Delacorte
"Oh, the Things I Know!: A Guide to Success, or, Failing That, Happiness" Dutton Adult
"Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them...A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" The Penguin Group
"Still More George W. Bushisms: 'Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican'" Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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