Writer and producer of Saturday Night Live
A curly-haired comedy specialist, Al Franken has carved out an enviable career as a television sketch writer, screenwriter, producer, commentator, author and comic performer since the mid-1970s. Part of the original writing staff that created the groundbreaking late night show "Saturday Night Live," Franken remained with the original show until 1980 and then returned in 1985. He stayed for another ten years, leaving after the 1994-1995 season. He received four Emmys for his writing on "Saturday Night Live" and a fifth for producing.
In 1992, Franken anchored Comedy Central's "Indecision '92," winning wide critical acclaim for his coverage of both conventions and election night. In 1996, he again covered the party conventions and election night for the show "Politically Incorrect," where he became a frequent guest. He later headlined "Lateline," an NBC sitcom spoof of ABC's "Nightline."
Franken has won recognition for his on-camera work, first as half of the comedy team of Franken and Davis, then for his Al Franken Decade persona. He also was recognized for such characterizations as the one-man mobile uplink unit and Stuart Smalley, the new age cable television host. Smalley was the subject of Franken's first book, "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough and Doggone It, People Like Me," which provided the basis for the movie "Stuart Saves His Family." His second book, "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations," spent over eight months on The New York Times bestseller list and was number one for five weeks. Franken's recording of the book on tape won the 1997 Grammy for Best Comedy Album. His third book, "Why Not Me: The Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency" chronicled the rise and fall of Al Franken, 43rd President, and was also a New York Times bestseller, His most recent book is, "Oh, The Things I Know!: A Guide to Success, or Failing That, Happiness."
A member of Alcoholics Anonymous since 1987, Franken was well-suited to co-executive produce and co-script the movie "When a Man Loves a Woman," which focused on an alcoholic woman and her co-dependent husband. He dealt with similar material in a more comic vein in "Stuart Saves His Family."
Franken grew up in Minnesota and is a graduate of Harvard College. He has appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Late Show with David Letterman," "Nightline," "Today," "Good Morning America," "CBS This Morning," "Charlie Rose," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The O'Reilly Factor," "Inside Politics," and "Larry King Live."
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