It's one of those tasks that may look easy on the surface, but becomes increasingly difficult as you try to do it, as evidenced by the efforts of our sister (heh) site, Lemondrop.com. Some of their staff tried to do the same thing and ended up with what looked like mutated twin brothers of the U.S. that their parents keep locked in the basement and feed a bucket of fish heads once a week.
But Franken's mutant power (his X-Men name would be "Sketchy") dates back farther than his recent days of pandering to voters in an election that made the Dade County, Florida recount look like a jelly-bean counting contest.
Blame Perry Mason.
The Supreme Court nominee said before the Senate and the Judiciary Committee that the old Perry Mason show inspired her to seek a life in upholding the law.
-- So what's it like to be a joke writer for 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon'? Step into Anthony Jeselnik's shoes for a day [Asylum]
-- Is 'NYC Prep' one of TV's 35 most appalling shows? Get in on the gossip [EW.com]
-- Now that Al Franken is officially a Senator, who should spoof him on 'Saturady Night Live'? [Seattle Times]
(more headlines after the jump)
8:48 David Gregory is good as a traffic cop. He's bouncing the focus around from Chuck to Chris to Ann to Lester really well. He's interviewing Obama's campaign chief strategist David Axelrod now. He doesn't look worried. He looks like Mr. Whipple, but he doesn't look worried.
8:55 Tom DeLay, former House Majority Leader -- is talking trash. He claims Nancy Pelosi is going to push President Obama around. Hmm...he sounds pretty bitter. Of course, he was forced to resign when he was indicted for election fraud.
Did you know that before he hosted his eponymous chair-throwing, fist-flying talk show, Jerry Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati?
Going from politician to TV star may be an unusual path, but the opposite route is actually quite common.
Here are 13 stars who made -- or tried to make -- the leap from primetime to politics.
Today on TV Squad Daily: It's a special "Law and Politics" episode!
- How powerful is Oprah, really? Is she like "choose the next president" powerful?
- You may know Al Franken best as Stuart Smalley. Minnesotans may soon know him as their senator.
- News: Cartoons have a hard time appearing in court.
This isn't exactly a surprise, since all the signs were there: he moved his family back to Minnesota last year and decided to end the Air America show. Both pointed to his intention to run. But his presence is going to lend national attention to that race, meaning we'll probably be hearing much more of the humorless pundit version of Franken than the witty comedian we actually came to like over the last twenty-five years. Oh, and don't put it past Minnesotans to vote him into office; he's a much more serious a candidate than Jesse Ventura was, and you remember what happened there.
Al Franken recently moved his radio show to my humble little metropolis of Minneapolis, the city where he grew up. By sheer coincidence I know one of his producers and I asked them why he was back in his homestate of Minnesota. Turns out Franken is giving some serious consideration to making a senate run in 2008. He hasn't officially thrown his hat in the ring, according to an interview with AlterNet he did recently, but the fact that he moved the whole shebang to Minnesota pretty much makes one think it's going to happen. I think the "celebrity to politician" move is a crap shoot at best, but this is Minnesota, and Al is a hometown boy. I figure if Jesse Ventura could get his hulking frame into office Franken probably stands a pretty good chance.
In the interview, Franken talks about humor revealing a deeper truth (something I completely agree with), but even with his recent political affiliations, do people still think of him as just Al Franken the funny guy from Saturday Night Live? Put another way, can a person add a new dimension to their public persona after so many years of being seen only one way? It has happened, but that move is always a tenuous one.
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