|United States Senator
July 7, 2009 – January 2, 2018[n 1]
|Preceded by||Norm Coleman|
|Succeeded by||Tina Smith|
|Born||Alan Stuart Franken
May 21, 1951
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Franni Bryson (m. 1975)|
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Alan Stuart Franken (born May 21, 1951) is an American comedian, writer, producer, author, and politician who served as a United States Senator from Minnesota from 2009 to 2018. He became well known in the 1970s and 1980s as a performer on the television comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). After decades as a comedic actor and writer, he became a prominent liberal political activist, hosting The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio.
Franken was first elected to the United States Senate in 2008 as the nominee of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL, an affiliate of the Democratic Party), defeating incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman by 312 votes out of nearly three million cast. He won reelection in 2014 with 53.2% of the vote over Republican challenger Mike McFadden. Franken resigned on January 2, 2018, after several allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Saturday Night Live
- 3 Post-SNL
- 4 Political activism prior to election
- 5 U.S. Senate
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Works
- 8 Filmography
- 9 Electoral history
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Early life and education
Franken was born on May 21, 1951, in New York City, to Joseph Franken, a printing salesman, and Phoebe Franken (born Kunst), a real estate agent. His paternal grandparents emigrated from Germany; his maternal grandfather came from Grodno, Russian Empire; and his maternal grandmother's parents were also from the Russian Empire. Both of his parents were Jews, and Franken was raised in a Reform Jewish home. The Frankens moved to Albert Lea, Minnesota, when he was four years old. His father opened a quilting factory, but it failed after just two years. The family then moved to St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. Franken graduated from The Blake School in 1969, where he was a member of the wrestling team. He attended Harvard College, where he majored in political science, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1973. His older brother Owen is a photojournalist, and his cousin Bob is a journalist for MSNBC.
Franken began performing in high school, where he and his longtime friend and writing partner Tom Davis were known for their comedy. The duo first performed on stage at Minneapolis's Brave New Workshop theater, specializing in political satire. They soon found themselves in what was described as "a life of near-total failure on the fringes of show business in Los Angeles."
Saturday Night Live
Franken and Tom Davis were recruited as two of the original writers and occasional performers on Saturday Night Live (SNL) (1975–1980, 1985–1995). In SNL's first season, the two apprentice writers shared a salary of $350 per week. Franken received seven Emmy nominations and three awards for his television writing and producing while creating such characters as self-help guru Stuart Smalley. Another routine proclaimed the 1980s the Al Franken Decade. Franken and Davis wrote the script of the 1986 comedy film One More Saturday Night, appearing in it as rock singers in a band called Bad Mouth. They also had minor roles in All You Need Is Cash and the film Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd .
On Weekend Update near the end of Season 5, Franken delivered a commentary called "A Limo for a Lame-O". He mocked controversial NBC president Fred Silverman as "a total unequivocal failure" and displayed a chart showing the poor ratings of NBC programs. As a result of this sketch, Silverman declined Lorne Michaels's recommendation that Franken succeed him as producer, and Franken left the show when Michaels did, at the end of the 1979–80 season. Franken returned to the show in 1985 as a writer and occasional performer. He has acknowledged using cocaine and other illegal drugs while working in television, and stated that he stopped after John Belushi died of an overdose. In 1995, Franken left the show in protest over losing the role of Weekend Update anchor to Norm Macdonald.
In 1995, Franken wrote and starred in the film Stuart Saves His Family, which was based on his SNL character Stuart Smalley. The film was a critical and commercial failure, and Franken later became depressed as a result. Despite its aggregate rating of 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film received favorable reviews from The Washington Post and Gene Siskel.
Franken is the author of four books that made The New York Times Best Seller list. In 2003, Penguin Books published his Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, a satirical book on American politics and conservatism. The book's title incorporated the Fox News slogan "Fair and Balanced", and had a cover photo of Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly; that August, Fox News sued, claiming infringement of its registered trademark phrase. A federal judge found the lawsuit "wholly without merit." The incident focused media attention on Franken's book and, according to him, greatly increased its sales. The publicity resulting from the lawsuit propelled Franken's yet-to-be-released book to number 1 on Amazon.com.
Franken signed a one-year contract in early 2004 to host a talk show for Air America Radio's flagship program with co-host Katherine Lanpher, who remained with the show until October 2005. The network was launched on March 31, 2004. Originally named The O'Franken Factor but renamed The Al Franken Show on July 12, 2004, the show aired three hours a day, five days a week for three years. Its stated goal was to put more progressive views on the public airwaves to counter what Franken perceived as the dominance of conservative syndicated commentary on the radio: "I'm doing this because I want to use my energies to get Bush unelected," he told a New York Times reporter in 2004. Franken's last radio show on Air America Radio was on February 14, 2007, at the end of which he announced his candidacy for the United States Senate.
In 2003, Franken served as a Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Since 2005, he has been a contributor to The Huffington Post.
Franken toured Iraq several times with the United Service Organizations (USO). On March 25, 2009, he was presented with the USO Metro Merit Award for his 10 years of involvement with the organization.
Political activism prior to election
According to an article by Richard Corliss published in Time magazine, "In a way, Franken has been running for office since the late '70s." Corliss also hinted at Franken's "possibly ironic role as a relentless self-promoter" in proclaiming the 1980s "The Al Franken Decade" and saying, "Vote for me, Al Franken. You'll be glad you did!" In 1999, Franken released a parody book, Why Not Me?, detailing his hypothetical campaign for president in 2000. He had been a strong supporter of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone and was deeply affected by Wellstone's death in a plane crash shortly before the 2002 election. Wellstone was a mentor and political and personal role model for Franken, who stated his hopes of following in Wellstone's footsteps.
Franken said he learned that 21% of Americans received most of their news from talk radio, an almost exclusively conservative medium. "I didn't want to sit on the sidelines, and I believed Air America could make a difference", he said. In November 2003, Franken talked about moving back to his home state of Minnesota to run for the Senate. At the time the seat once held by Wellstone was occupied by Republican Norm Coleman. At a 2004 Democratic presidential campaign event, Franken tackled a man who was allegedly threatening other attendees and heckling Governor Howard Dean. In 2005, Franken announced his move to Minnesota: "I can tell you honestly, I don't know if I'm going to run, but I'm doing the stuff I need to do in order to do it." In late 2005, he started his own political action committee, Midwest Values PAC. By early 2007, the PAC had raised more than $1 million.
Franken initially supported the Iraq War but opposed the 2007 troop surge. In an interview with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, he said that he "believed Colin Powell", whose presentation at the United Nations convinced him that the war was necessary, but that he had since come to believe that "we were misled into the war" and urged the Democratic-controlled Congress to refuse to pass appropriations bills to fund the war if they did not include timetables for leaving Iraq. In an interview with Josh Marshall, Franken said of the Democrats, "I think we've gotta make President George W. Bush say, 'OK, I'm cutting off funding because I won't agree to a timetable.'"
Franken favors transitioning to a universal health care system, with the provision that every child in America should receive health care coverage immediately. He objects to efforts to privatize Social Security or cut benefits, and favors raising the cap on wages to which Social Security taxes apply. On his 2008 campaign website, he voiced support for cutting subsidies for oil companies, increasing money available for college students, and cutting interest rates on student loans.
During the 2008 election, New York state officials asserted that Al Franken Inc. had failed to carry required workers compensation insurance for employees who assisted him with his comedy and public speaking from 2002 to 2005. Franken paid a $25,000 fine to the state of New York upon being advised his corporation was out of compliance with the state's workers compensation laws. At the same time, the California Franchise Tax Board reported that the same corporation owed more than $4,743 in taxes, fines, and associated penalties in the state of California for 2003 through 2007, because the corporation did not file tax returns in the state for those years. A Franken representative said that it followed the advice of an accountant who believed when the corporation stopped doing business in California that no further filing was required. Subsequently, Franken paid $70,000 in back income taxes in 17 states dating back to 2003, mostly from his speeches and other paid appearances. Franken said he paid the income tax in his state of residence, and he would seek retroactive credit for paying the taxes in the wrong state.
On January 29, 2007, Franken announced his departure from Air America Radio, and on the day of his final show, February 14, he formally announced his candidacy for the United States Senate from Minnesota in 2008. Challenging him for the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party endorsement was Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, a professor, author, and activist; trial lawyer Mike Ciresi; and attorney and human rights activist Jim Cohen, who dropped out of the race early. Franken won the nomination with 65% of the vote.
On July 8, 2007, Franken's campaign stated that it expected to announce that he had raised more money than his Republican opponent, Norm Coleman, during the second quarter of the year, taking in $1.9 million to Coleman's $1.6 million, although in early July 2007, Coleman's $3.8 million cash on hand exceeded Franken's $2 million.
In late May 2008, the Minnesota Republican Party released a letter about an article Franken had written for Playboy magazine in 2000 titled "Porn-O-Rama!" The letter, signed by six prominent GOP women, including a state senator and state representative, called on Franken to apologize for what they called a "demeaning and degrading" article. His campaign spokesman responded, "Al had a long career as a satirist. But he understands the difference between what you say as a satirist and what you do as a senator. And as a Senator, Norm Coleman has disrespected the people of Minnesota by putting the Exxons and Halliburtons ahead of working families. And there's nothing funny about that."
On June 7, 2008, Franken was endorsed by the DFL. In a July 2008 interview with CNN, he was endorsed by Ben Stein, a noted entertainer, speechwriter, lawyer and author known for his conservative views, who generally supported Republican candidates. Stein said of Franken, "He is my pal, and he is a really, really capable smart guy. I don't agree with all of his positions, but he is a very impressive guy, and I think he should be in the Senate."
During his campaign, Franken was criticized for advising SNL creator Lorne Michaels on a political sketch ridiculing Senator John McCain's ads attacking Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Coleman's campaign reacted, saying, "Once again, he proves he's more interested in entertainment than service, and ridiculing those with whom he disagrees."
Preliminary reports on election night, November 4, were that Coleman was leading by over 700 votes, but the official results, certified on November 18, 2008, had Coleman leading by only 215 votes. As the two candidates were separated by less than 0.5 percent of the votes cast, the Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, authorized the automatic recount provided for in Minnesota election law. In the recount, ballots and certifying materials were examined by hand, and candidates could file challenges to the legality of ballots or materials for inclusion or exclusion. On January 5, 2009, the Minnesota State Canvassing Board certified the recounted vote totals, with Franken ahead by 225 votes.
On January 6, 2009, Coleman's campaign filed an election contest, which led to a trial before a three-judge panel. The trial ended on April 7, when the panel ruled that 351 of 387 disputed absentee ballots were incorrectly rejected and ordered them counted. Counting those ballots raised Franken's lead to 312 votes. Coleman appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court on April 20. On April 24, the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. Oral arguments were conducted on June 1.
On June 30, 2009, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected Coleman's appeal and said that Franken was entitled to be certified as the winner. Shortly after the court's decision, Coleman conceded. Governor Tim Pawlenty signed Franken's election certificate that same evening.
Franken was reelected to a second term in 2014. He won the August 12 primary election, in which he was challenged by Sandra Henningsgard, with 94.5% of the vote. He won the general election against the Republican candidate, Mike McFadden, with 53.2% of the vote.
Franken was sworn into the Senate on July 7, 2009, 246 days after the election. He took the oath of office with the Bible of late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, whose old seat was set aside for Franken by Senate leaders.
On August 6, 2009, Franken presided over the confirmation vote of Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. On August 5, 2010, Franken presided over the confirmation vote of Elena Kagan. His first piece of legislation, the Service Dogs for Veterans Act, which he wrote jointly with Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, passed the Senate by unanimous consent, establishing a program with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to pair disabled veterans with service dogs.
A video of Franken at the Minnesota State Fair on September 2, 2009, engaging in a discussion with a group of Tea Party protesters on health care reform, began circulating on the Internet and soon went viral. The discussion was noted for its civility, in contrast to the explosive character of several other discussions between members of the 111th Congress and their constituents that had occurred over the summer.
During the debate on health care reform, Franken was one of the strongest supporters of a single-payer system. He authored an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act called the Medical Loss Ratio, which required that insurance companies spend at least 80% of premiums on actual health care costs, rising to 85% for large group plans. On September 30, 2013, Franken voted to remove a provision that would repeal the medical device tax in Obamacare from a government funding bill, saying that though he supported the provision, he disagreed with its being used as a condition for preventing the 2013 federal government shutdown.
Citing the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, Franken introduced a limit to the arbitration policy of the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that withheld defense contracts from companies that restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery, and discrimination cases to court. It passed the Senate in November 2010, 68 to 30, in a roll-call vote. 
In May 2010, Franken proposed a financial-reform amendment that created a board to select which credit rating agency would evaluate a given security. At the time, any company issuing a security could select the company that evaluated the security. The amendment was passed, but the financial industry lobbied to have it removed from the final bill. Negotiations between the Senate and House, whose version of financial reform did not include such a provision, resulted in the amendment's being watered down to require only a series of studies being done on the issue for two years. After the studies, if the Securities and Exchange Commission had not implemented another solution to the conflict-of-interest problem, Franken's solution would go into effect.
In August 2010, Franken made faces and hand gestures and rolled his eyes while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a speech in opposition to the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. Franken's actions prompted McConnell to remark, "This isn't Saturday Night Live, Al." After Kagan's confirmation, Franken delivered a handwritten apology to McConnell and issued a public statement saying that McConnell had a right "to give his speech with the presiding officer just listening respectfully."
The National Journal reported in 2013 that Franken supports the National Security Agency's data mining programs, believing they have saved lives, and that "I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people."
When Franken declared his intention to seek reelection in 2014, his seat was thought to be a top target for the Republicans because of his very slim margin of victory in the previous election. But Politico reported that his high approval rating, his large campaign fund, and the Republicans' struggle to find a top-tier candidate meant he was a "heavy favorite" to win reelection, and Franken won the race comfortably.
The Associated Press has noted that contrary to expectations, Franken has not sought out the media spotlight: "He rarely talks to the Washington press corps, has shed his comedic persona and focused on policy, working to be taken seriously." In interviews he has expressed his desire to be known for a focus on constituency work, keeping his head down, and working hard.
Franken has been an effective fundraiser for the Democrats. By late 2015, his political action committee had raised more than $5 million in donations. In 2016, his PAC raised $3.3 million. According to The Star Tribune, Franken has been able to "draw crowds and donations across the country".
Sexual misconduct allegations
On November 16, 2017, Leeann Tweeden alleged in a blog post and an interview with her radio station, 790 KABC, that Franken forcibly kissed her on a 2006 USO tour during a rehearsal for a skit. She wrote, "I said 'OK' so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth." She said she pushed him away, feeling "disgusted and violated". Franken was also photographed appearing to place his hands above or on her breasts while she was asleep on an aircraft wearing body armor and a helmet. In response, Franken said, "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann ... As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it." A few hours later, Franken issued a longer apology, which Tweeden accepted.
On November 20, 2017, a 33-year-old woman named Lindsay Menz accused Franken of touching her clothed buttocks while they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. In a statement responding to the allegation, Franken said, "I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don't remember taking this picture. I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."
On November 22, 2017, Huffington Post reported that two additional women who insisted upon anonymity said that Franken had subjected them to very similar misconduct during political events in 2007 and 2008 (before he took office), incidents Franken also said he did not remember. Franken issued another apology on November 23, 2017, stating, "I've met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I'm a warm person; I hug people. I've learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many."
On November 30, 2017, Jezebel reported that another anonymous woman said that after she was a guest on Franken's radio show in 2006, Franken leaned in toward her face during a handshake and gave her "a wet, open-mouthed kiss" on the cheek when she turned away. That same day, an army veteran named Stephanie Kemplin told CNN that Franken held the side of her breast for 5 to 10 seconds "and never moved his hand" while posing for a photograph with her during a 2003 USO tour in Iraq.
Senate Majority and Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer sent Tweeden's accusations to the Senate Ethics Committee for review, a decision supported by members of both parties, including Franken himself. On November 30, the committee announced that it was investigating allegations against Franken. Some liberal groups and commentators, including the Indivisible movement and Sally Kohn, called on Franken to resign because of the allegations. On December 6, two more accusations surfaced, one from an anonymous congressional aide about an attempted kiss at his radio show studio, and one by congressional aide Tina Dupuy about Franken allegedly squeezing her waist at a party prior to Franken taking office. More than two dozen Democratic senators then called on Franken to resign from office.
On December 7, 2017, Franken announced his intention to resign his Senate seat. In his resignation speech, he made comparisons to Republican politicians, saying he was "aware of the irony" that President Donald Trump remained in office despite the comments Trump made in the Access Hollywood tape released a month before his election, and that the Republican Party supported Roy Moore's Senate campaign despite the many allegations of harassment and molestation against Moore. Franken resigned on January 2, 2018, and Minnesota governor Mark Dayton appointed the lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, to hold Franken’s seat until a special election in November 2018.
Franken met his wife, Franni Bryson, in his first year at Harvard. In 2005, they moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Together they have two children. Their daughter, Thomasin, has degrees from Harvard and the French Culinary Institute; she is the director of extended learning at DC Prep, an organization in Washington, D.C., that manages charter schools. Their son, Joseph, works in the finance industry. Franken is a second cousin of the actor Steve Franken, known for his appearances in the television series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. In 2013, Franken received the Stewart B. McKinney Award for his work fighting homelessness.
The following are works authored by Al Franken.
- Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations (Delacorte Press, 1996) ISBN 0-385-31474-4
- Why Not Me?: The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency (Delacorte Press, 1999) ISBN 0-385-31809-X
- Oh, the Things I Know!: A Guide to Success, or Failing That, Happiness (Plume Books, 2003) ISBN 0-452-28450-3
- Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (Dutton Books, 2003) ISBN 0-525-94764-7
- The Truth (With Jokes) (Dutton Books, 2005) ISBN 0-525-94906-2
- Al Franken, Giant of the Senate (Grand Central Publishing, 2017) ISBN 1455540412
|1976||Tunnel Vision||Yes||Role: Al|
|1977–1980||Saturday Night Live||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1977||The Paul Simon Special||Yes|
|1978||All You Need is Cash||Yes||Role: Extra|
|1981||Grateful Dead: Dead Ahead||Yes||Concert video
|1981||Steve Martin's Best Show Ever||Yes|
|1981||Bob and Ray, Jane, Laraine and Gilda||Yes|
|1983||Trading Places||Yes||Role: Baggage handler|
|1984||Franken and Davis at Stockton State||Yes|
|1984||The New Show||Yes|
|1986||Saturday Night Live||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1986||One More Saturday Night||Yes||Yes||Role: Paul Flum|
|1988–1995||Saturday Night Live||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1994||When a Man Loves a Woman||Yes|
|1995||Stuart Saves His Family||Yes||Yes||Role: Stuart Smalley|
|1997||3rd Rock from the Sun||Yes||Episode: "Dick the Vote"|
|1997||The Larry Sanders Show||Yes||Episode: "The Roast"|
|1998||From the Earth to the Moon||Yes||TV miniseries
Role: Jerome Wiesner
|2004||Outfoxed||Yes||Role: Air America host|
|2004||The Manchurian Candidate||Yes|
|2004–2007||The Al Franken Show||Yes||Yes||Host of radio talk show|
|2004||Tanner on Tanner||Yes|
|2006||Al Franken: God Spoke||Yes||Documentary|
|Wikinews has related news: Minnesota court declares Franken winner; Coleman considers appeal|
|2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate Democratic–Farmer–Labor primary election|
|DFL||Priscilla Lord Faris||74,655||29.72%|
|Republican||Norm Coleman (incumbent)||1,212,317||41.983%|
|Margin of victory||312||0.011%|
|2014 Minnesota U.S. Senate Democratic–Farmer–Labor primary election|
|DFL||Al Franken (incumbent)||182,720||94.50%|
|DFL||Al Franken (incumbent)||1,053,205||53.15|
|Margin of victory||202,978||10.24%|
- Franken was elected to the term beginning January 3, 2009, but did not take his seat until July 7, 2009, because of a recount and a subsequent election challenge. He then resigned on January 2, 2018.
- "Ancestry of Al Franken". William Addams Reitwiesner. Archived from the original on March 8, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- "Al Franken". Jewish Virtual Library. Archived from the original on February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
- "Meet Al". Archived from the original on September 11, 2015.
- Colapinto, John. "Enter Laughing". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Liebovich, Mark (December 13, 2016). "Al Franken Faces Donald Trump and the Next Four Years". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
At 65, Franken retains the thick build of the high-school wrestler he once was.
- White, Deborah. "Profile of Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota". About.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
- "CNN Newsnight Aaron Brown". CNN. April 29, 2002. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- Martin, Douglas (July 19, 2012). "Tom Davis, Comedian and 'SNL' Sketch Writer, Dies at 59". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- Davis, Tom (2010). Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was There. Grove Press; Reprint edition. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-8021-4456-0.
- Hill, Doug; Weingrad, Jeff (1987). Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live p. 57. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-75053-5.
- Kornbluth, Jesse (March–April 2012). "Al Franken: You Can Call Me Senator". Harvard Magazine. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Shales, Tom (2003). Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told by Its Stars, Writers and Guests. p. 191. Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-316-73565-5.
- Cox, Ana Marie (April 5, 2007). "Don't Laugh at Al Franken". Time. Archived from the original on September 19, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
- Westfall, Sandra Sobieraj (May 26, 2017). "Al Franken Says John Belushi's Fatal Overdose Inspired Him to Give Up Drugs". People. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017.
- Spano, Wy (2010). A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Senate: Franken vs. Coleman and the Decline and Fall of Civilized Politics. p. 51. Zenith Press. ISBN 0-7603-3902-3.
- Leopold, Todd (May 7, 2002). "Al Franken's Guide to Life". CNN. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "'Stuart Saves His Family'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "Stuart Saves His Family (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Howe, Desson (April 14, 1995). "'Stuart Saves His Family' (PG-13)". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Siskel, Gene (April 14, 1995). "'Stuart' Funny Without Making Fun of Self-Help Movement". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Powers, Retha (2005). This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work (Paperback ed.). Chronicle Books. p. 549. ISBN 978-0-8118-4829-9.
- Saulny, Susan (August 12, 2003). "To Fox, 'Fair and Balanced' Doesn't Describe Al Franken". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "Fox News Sues Humorist Al Franken over Slogan". Associated Press. August 11, 2003. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Saulny, Susan (August 23, 2003). "In Courtroom, Laughter at Fox and a Victory for Al Franken". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2005.
- "Comedian and Political Commentator Al Franken". National Public Radio. September 3, 2003. Archived from the original on September 11, 2005. Retrieved October 5, 2005.
- "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (review)". Bookreporter.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011.
- Shorto, Russell (March 21, 2004). "Al Franken, Seriously So". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- "Al Franken to Leave Air America in February". Archived from the original on February 2, 2007.
- "Al Franken". Huffingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Kasindorf, Martin; Komarow, Steven (December 22, 2005). "USO Cheers Troops, but Iraq Gigs Tough to Book". USA Today. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- Carden, Michael J. (March 26, 2009). "USO Metro Salutes Exceptional Troops, Volunteers". Defense.gov. American Forces Press Service. Archived from the original on January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Diaz, Kevin (March 23, 2009). "Franken to Receive Award for USO Service". StarTribune. Archived from the original on September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
- Corliss, Richard (February 14, 2007). "Vote for Me, Al Franken". Time. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Roper, Eric (July 10, 2009). "Franken Shakes Off the Hoopla, Settles into Job". StarTribune. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
...Paul Wellstone, Franken's political mentor, whose picture now sits near his desk.
- Croman, John (July 26, 2016). "Minnesotans in Spotlight as DNC Opens". KARE-11. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
[Franken] summoned the name of his friend and mentor, the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who said that winning elections is about both passion and work.
- Weiner, Jay (July 6, 2009). "Tuesday, Franken's Hand Will Be on Wellstone Bible, His Thoughts Likely on the Many Minnesotans He's Met". MinnPost.com. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- "From Satirist to Senator". CNN.com. July 6, 2009. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- Morris, Vince (January 27, 2004). "Al Franken Knocks Down Dean Heckler". New York Post. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- "THE TRUTH about Franken's "Takedown"". Daily Kos. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- Kuhn, David Paul (April 28, 2005). "Senator Franken?". Salon.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
- Cilizza, Chris (February 5, 2007). "Minnesota Senate: Is Franken the Dems' Dream Candidate?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
- "Doggone It, People Like Him". Mother Jones. September 1, 2007. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
- Scott, A.O. (September 13, 2006). "Comedian Turned Activist, With His Own Campaign". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 13, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- "Transcript, "Scarborough Country"". MSNBC. December 7, 2005. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008.
- "Coleman and Franken on Iraq: Everything You Need to Know". MinnPostcom. August 7, 2008. Archived from the original on December 21, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- Shorto, Russell (March 21, 2004). "Al Franken, Seriously". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 5, 2015. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- Black, Eric (August 26, 2014). "Franken on Fixing Social Security and Medicare — and why repealing Obamacare is a terrible idea". MinnPost.com. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- Al on the Issues (2008). "Higher Education". Al Franken for Senate. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
- Al on the Issues (2008). "Gas Prices". Al Franken for Senate. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
- Duchschere, Kevin (March 12, 2008). "Franken Faces $25,000 Workers' Comp Penalty". Startribune.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Duchschere, Kevin (April 24, 2008). "Friday: New Round of Financial Questions Dogs Franken". Startribune.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- "More Furor over Franken's Taxes". Archived from the original on February 21, 2012.(registration required)
- Condon, Patrick (April 30, 2008). "Comedian Turned Candidate Franken to Pay $70K in Back Taxes". Fox News. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- "Al Franken Decides He's Good Enough, Smart Enough to Run for Senate". New York. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on January 1, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- Doyle, Pat (March 11, 2008). "Ciresi in Parting: Choose Wisely". StarTribune. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "Franken Raises Over $1.9 Million in Second Quarter". Al Franken for Senate. July 8, 2007. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
- Mulcahy, Mike (July 9, 2007). "Franken Leads the Pack in Second Quarter Fundraising". Polinaut. Minnesota Public Radio. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
- "GOP Targets Al Franken's Playboy Column". ABC News. May 23, 2008. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- "Les saya: It's Franken in One". StarTribune. June 7, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Preston, Mark (July 28, 2008). "Preston on Politics: Bueller? Bueller? — McCain Needs Rove". CNN. Archived from the original on September 12, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- Martin, Jonathon; Kraushaar, Josh (September 20, 2008). "Franken Helps Craft McCain 'SNL' Skit". Politico.com. Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
- Scheck, Tom (September 21, 2008). "Coleman Hits Franken for SNL Skit". Minnesota Public Radio. Archived from the original on September 26, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
- Welch, Chris; Hornick, Ed (January 6, 2009). "Franken Declares Senate Race Win After State Ruling". CNN. Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- "Minnesota Senate Seat Election Contest". Minnesota Courts. January 6, 2009. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
- Hoppin, Jason (April 20, 2009). "Coleman Asks High Court to Look Again at Rejected Votes". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on May 9, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- "Al Franken Is the Winner of Minnesota Senate Race, Court Rules". New York Daily News. Associated Press. April 14, 2009. Archived from the original on April 17, 2009.
- Muskal, Michael (April 7, 2007). "Franken Widens Lead in Minnesota Senate Recount". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 10, 2009.
- Stawicki, Elizabeth (April 24, 2009). "Supreme Court Recount Timeline Called Reasonable". Minnesota Public Radio. Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Minnesota Supreme Court (April 24, 2009). "Order for Briefing Schedule" (PDF). Minnesota Supreme Court. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 21, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
- "Minnesota Senate Seat '08 Election". Minnesota Judicial Branch. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "Norm Coleman Concedes Minnesota Senate race to Al Franken". Houston Chronicle. July 1, 2009. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Doyle, Pat (June 30, 2009). "Pawlenty Will Sign Franken Election Certificate". Salon. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- "Statewide Results for U.S. Senator, Primary Election". Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original on May 7, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- "The Most Detailed Maps You'll See from the Midterm Elections". The New York Times. November 5, 2014. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- "Statewide Results for U.S. Senator". Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- Huls, Carl (July 7, 2009). "And Here's Senator Franken". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 10, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
- Montanaro, Domenico (July 7, 2009). "Al Franken, the Newest U.S. Senator". First Read. MSNBC. Archived from the original on July 10, 2009. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
- Stassen-Berger, Rachel (July 7, 2009). "Minnesota Sen. Al Franken Sworn in with Paul Wellstone Bible". Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on September 9, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Brunswick, Mark (July 1, 2009). "Emotional Franken Vows to honor Wellstone". StarTribune. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011.
- "Senator Franken, at Center Stage, Presides over Sotomayor Vote". FoxNews.com. August 6, 2009. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
- Steller, Chris (July 24, 2009). "Franken's First Bill Passes as Part of Defense Bill". The Minnesota Independent. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Franken Works the Fair on Health Care. USA Today
- "TV Guide: Franken Video Gets Attention". MSNBC. Archived from the original on September 9, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
- "Franken Finds Fans and Foes Friendly at Fair". Kare11.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2010.
- TV Guide: Franken Video Gets Attention. Msnbc.msn.com Archived September 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Hoppin, Jason (January 17, 2010). "Al Franken on his first 6 months in the Senate: 'I kept my head down and did my job'". TwinCities.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
- Knobbe, Lauren (July 22, 2010). "Franken Warns Against Weakening Law on Health-Care Spending". MinnPost.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
- "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session: Vote 210". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- "Klobuchar, Franken Call for Repeal of Medical Device Tax". HometownSource.com. July 8, 2013. Archived from the original on October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Diaz, Kevin (September 30, 2013). "Complicated Shutdown Votes for Key Minnesotans". StarTribune. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Stein, Sam (November 10, 2008). "Franken Gets His First Amendment Passed by Roll Call Vote". Huffingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2009. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
- Corkery, Michael (May 13, 2010). "Al Franken's Credit Rating Amendment is No Joke". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 15, 2017.
- Larnder, James (June 14, 2010). "Reckoning Day for the Raters". The Hill. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011.
- Davidoff, Steven (July 16, 2010). "Finding a Good Financial Bill in 2,300 Pages". The New York Times.
- Michael Hirsh (July 5, 2010). "Al Franken Gets Serious". Newsweek. Retrieved July 20, 2010.[dead link]
- Younglai, Rachelle; Rampton, Roberta; Dixon, Kim; Felsenthal, Mark (July 15, 2010). "Factbox: Long To-Do List Ahead for Financial Regulators". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 19, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
- Daileda, Colin (August 6, 2010). "McConnell to Franken: "This Isn't SNL"". CBS News. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- Bolton, Alexander (8/5/10). McConnell Scolds Franken for Making Faces from Dais During His Speech Archived October 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. TheHill.com
- Raju, Manu (August 5, 2010). "McConnell to Franken: This Isn't 'SNL'". Politico. Archived from the original on August 22, 2010.
- Berman, Matt (June 11, 2013). "The NSA Has at Least 1 Liberal Friend Left: Sen. Al Franken". National Journal. Archived from the original on September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
- Mitchell, Corey (November 3, 2012). "Franken a Player in Democrats' Plan to Keep Senate". SraeTribune. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
- Hohmann, James (May 26, 2013). "Al Franken goes from top target to heavy favorite for Minnesota Senate". Politico. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Condon, Patrick (June 22, 2013). "MINN.'S FRANKEN HARDLY A GOP TARGET FOR DEFEAT". Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
- Toeplitz, Shira; Pierce, Emily (March 2, 2013). "Franken's Goal: I'm Serious Enough". Roll Call. Archived from the original on December 16, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
- Brooks, Jennifer (November 27, 2017). "Franken ashamed but says he'll return to work on Monday". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on November 30, 2017.
- Brodey, Sam (November 17, 2017). "Resignation or not, what should Democrats do with Franken campaign money?". MinnPost. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017.
- Everett, Burgess (November 3, 2017). "Franken gets serious about flipping Senate to Democrats". Politico. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017.
- "Midwest Values PAC Summary". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- Tweeden, Leann (November 16, 2017). "Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There's Nothing Funny About It". 790 KABC. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
- Wang, Amy B.; Bever, Lindsey; Lee, Michelle Ye Hee (November 16, 2017). "'Al Franken kissed and groped me without my consent,' broadcaster Leeann Tweeden says". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017.
- Fandos, Nicholas (November 16, 2017). "Senator Al Franken Apologizes for Groping a Woman in 2006". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- Khatchatourian, Maane (November 16, 2017). "Al Franken Apologizes After Being Accused of Groping, Kissing Radio Host Without Consent". Variety Magazine. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
- "Read Al Franken's apology following accusation of groping and kissing without consent". CNN. November 17, 2017. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Savransky, Rebecca (November 16, 2017). "Woman who accused Franken says she accepts his apology". The Hill. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Lee, MJ (November 20, 2017). "Woman says Franken inappropriately touched her in 2010". CNN. Archived from the original on November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- "Al Franken hit with groping allegation from second woman". Fox News. November 20, 2017. Archived from the original on November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- Hatch, Jenavieve; Roth, Zachary (November 23, 2017). "Two More Women Accuse Sen. Al Franken Of Inappropriate Touching". HuffPost. Archived from the original on November 23, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
- Chavez, Nicole; Lee, MJ. "Al Franken sorry he 'made some women feel badly'". CNN. Archived from the original on November 24, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
- Schladebeck, Jessica (November 30, 2017). "Army veteran says Sen. Al Franken groped her while she was stationed in Middle East in 2003". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017.
I reached out my hand to shake his hand", she said, recalling the end of the interview. "He took it and leaned toward me with his mouth open. I turned my head away from him and he landed a wet, open-mouthed kiss awkwardly on my cheek.
- Gambino, Lauren (November 30, 2017). "Al Franken: two more women accuse senator of sexual misconduct". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017.
- http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/30/politics/al-franken-groping-allegation/index.html. Retrieved January 14, 2018
- "Fifth woman comes forward with accusations against Al Franken". CNN. November 30, 2017. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017.
- Naylor, Brian (November 30, 2017). "Pelosi, Ryan Call on Conyers To Step Down; Franken Under Senate Ethics Inquiry". NPR. Archived from the original on December 5, 2017.
- Zdechlik, Mark (December 4, 2017). "Franken's ethics investigation: a field guide". Minnesota Public Radio. Archived from the original on December 4, 2017.
- Sachor, Elana; Min Kim, Seung (November 20, 2017). "Liberals turn on Franken". Politico. Archived from the original on November 21, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
- "Another woman says Franken tried to forcibly kiss her". POLITICO. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Lima, Christiano (December 6, 2017). "Woman tells magazine about 2009 Franken groping incident". Politico. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Schor, Elana; Kim, Seung Min. "More than two dozen Democratic senators call on Franken to resign". POLITICO. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Watson, Kathryn (December 7, 2017). "Sen. Al Franken says he's resigning -- live stream updates". CBS News. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- "Sen. Al Franken takes dig at Trump, Moore in resignation speech". USA Today. December 7, 2017. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Rao, Maya (January 2, 2018). "Transition time: Franken moves out, Smith moves in". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Gihring, Tim (July 2008). "Starring Al Franken". Minnesota Monthly. Archived from the original on March 12, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- "Thomasin Franken, Brody Greenwald". The New York Times. October 2, 2011. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- "Steve Franken, 'Dobie Gillis' Actor, Dead at Age 80". OnTheRedCarpet.com. August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Keating, Christopher (October 30, 2013). "U.S. Sen. Al Franken Will Receive Stewart B. McKinney Award Tonight in D.C." Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "General Election Results" (PDF). Minnesota Secretary of State. January 5, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
- "Election Reporting". Minnesota Secretary of State. April 10, 2009. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- "Statewide Results for U.S. Senator". Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
- Official website
- Senator Al Franken official U.S. Senate site (archived)
- Al Franken at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Al Franken on National Public Radio in 2002
- Al Franken on National Public Radio in 2003
- Al Franken on National Public Radio in 2004
- Al Franken at Google Books
- Al Franken on IMDb
|Head Writer of Saturday Night Live
Served alongside: Tom Davis
|Party political offices|
|Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
Served alongside: Amy Klobuchar