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'''Alan Stuart "Al" Franken''' (born May 21, 1951) is an American comedy writer, political satirist, and now Senator from Minnesota.

First known as a writer and bit player on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' in the 1970s...then returning in the 1980s when LorneMichaels decided to come back to save his show and again in the 1990s when the show was once again on top -- before its decline in the mid-1990s (Franken is the show's longest-running feature player as of 2011), in TheNineties he also became a bestselling author, with a strong liberal-political bent. He's also appeared in a few, largely forgettable, films, and hosted a Radio TalkShow on the short-lived Air America network.

Most recently he became the Junior Senator from Minnesota in a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Minnesota,_2008 frighteningly protracted election]]. His reelection was more of a CurbStompBattle, him beating his opponent by ten points. Interestingly, as a Senator, he's been rather mild-mannered, level-headed, and kind of sheepish. It's actually kind of endearing.

Oh, and he can freehand draw an accurate map of the United States of America ''from memory''.

He's also really fast with a gun. Freakishly fast. In fact, he is an acknowledged quick draw champion and once claimed to be the third fastest in the U.S.
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!!His books include:
* ''I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley''
* ''Radio/RushLimbaugh Is a Big FatIdiot and Other Observations''
* ''[[Literature/WhyNotMe Why Not Me? The Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency]]''
* ''Oh, the Things I Know! A Guide to Success, or Failing That, Happiness''
* ''Lies and [[ThatLiarLies the Lying Liars]] Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right''
* ''The Truth ([[LifeEmbellished With Jokes]])''

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!!Tropes associated with Franken include:

* AllMythsAreTrue: He admits he got the infamous "Jew call" [[labelnote: Short explanation]]Allegations that various Jewish employees in the World Trade Center were warned not to show up on 9/11 by Israeli agents.[[/labelnote]] in ''Lies'', though he ''may'' have been joking, given the way he goes about it.
--> "To tell you the truth, I got the Jew call...from former New York mayor Ed Koch. 'Al', he said, 'Don't go to work on the 23rd day of Elul.'"
* ArchEnemy: [[Series/TheOReillyFactor Bill O'Reilly]]. See below, and also [[http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/oreilly-falafel-suit-turns-five?page=11 here]].
* BitingTheHandHumor: Franken describing the failures of then-Creator/{{NBC}} president Fred Silverman on ''SNL'''s "Weekend Update" segment in 1980, in what came to be known as the "Limo for the Lame-o" affair.
* BleachedUnderpants: He had to disavow a great deal of his earlier, more ribald work to run for the Senate.
* BoomerangBigot / YouAreWhatYouHate: Wrote a book called ''Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot'' mocking him for his then-status as overweight,[[note]]Practically the ''[[UpToEleven whole]] [[OverlyLongGag index]]'' consists of jokes relating to Limbaugh being fat and/or a BigEater, with the notable exception of a quick gag about Republican pollster Frank Luntz's reluctance to search for himself in that index.[[/note]] but Franken himself is a bit on the pudgy side.
* TheCameo: He's been a guest star on his friend (and fellow Minnesotan) Garrison Keillor's radio show APrairieHomeCompanion where he's done pretty good impression of Henry Kissinger
* CouldSayItBut
** The so-called "Kidding on the Square" version is closely associated with Franken, particularly in the ''Lying Liars'' era.
** The relative lack of this in his political career is mostly thanks to his getting dressed down by his fellow senators when he tried cracking wise on the floor.
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: His ''Rush Limbaugh is...'' book has a section involving a number of Republican figures (among them Limbaugh, Gingrich, Buchanan) fighting in Vietnam and calls them chickenhawks for allegedly warmongering but not fighting in wars themselves. Putting aside that the Republicans weren't in power at the Presidency and the person who was at the time, UsefulNotes/BillClinton, who Franken ''supported'', was the one who declared war in the Balkans and Somalia but refused to enlist in the draft, not only that but one of the people Franken mentions and lumps in with the others as "warmongering", Pat Buchanan, has been against ''every war'' since UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. Buchanan not only doesn't fit the pro-war stereotype Franken was trying to push, he's ''less'' pro-war than either Franken or Clinton.
* TheDanza: Al Franken was Al Freundlich on ''Lateline''.
* TheEponymousShow: ''The Al Franken Show'', previously known as ''The O'Franken Factor''.
* GameShowAppearance: Three times on Series/{{Jeopardy}}. The first time, a category was "[[Series/SaturdayNightLive SNL Presidential Players]]." After [[ForegoneConclusion running the category]], he leaned over to [[Series/CountdownWithKeithOlbermann Keith Olbermann]] and said that he ''wrote'' the skits featured in four of the five clues (likely the only one he didn't was Robert Smigel's "X-Presidents").
* TheGunslinger: Type D. He is a QuickDraw champion in real life. In ''Lies,'' he claims he is 3rd ranked in the US, in response to [[Series/TheOReillyFactor Bill O'Reilly]] saying that in TheWildWest he'd have shot Franken in a ShowdownAtHighNoon.
* HilariousInHindsight: ''[[WhyNotMe Why Not Me?]]'', which depicts a fictionalized version of Franken running for and gaining the presidency, was written as a farce back in 1998. Ten years later, Franken started a political career for real and became a U.S. senator for Minnesota. Now, some pundits are actually trying to encourage UsefulNotes/HillaryClinton to make Franken her [[http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/the-case-for-vice-president-al-franken-213756 vice presidential candidate]] against Creator/DonaldTrump.
* {{Jerkass}}/JerkassFacade: Take your pick. UpToEleven either way.
* JustJokingJustification: Is famous for this. His ''Rush Limbaugh'' book is filled with disclaimers of sorts to the effect that all the fat jokes, etc., are "satire". He then [[InvokedTrope began his forward to]] ''Lies'' with a ''major'' one:
--> Thanks to Team Franken, you can rest assured that everything in this book is true. Either that, or it's a joke. If you come across something that doesn't ring true, you probably just missed a hilarious joke and should blame yourself rather than me or Team Franken.
* LetsSeeYouDoBetter: He has probably received vituperations of this sort from various factions. His response was to get himself elected to the United States Senate.
* MommasBoy: Inverted real-life example: Franken admits that in his childhood, he cheered for [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Nixon]] in the 1960 presidential election because he was fonder of his father, then a registered Republican (they both switched four years later), than he was of his mother, a registered Democrat. Al's older brother, meanwhile, cheered for [[UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy Kennedy]], which he attributes to "a visceral aversion to Nixon."
* MoodWhiplash: A particularly bad case in ''Lies''. Chapter 25 details how the Republicans exploited Paul Wellstone's death for political gains, and ends on a bittersweet note. Chapter 26? Franken goes to the White House Correspondents Dinner and {{troll}}s all the righties there. Uh-huh.
* MyCountryTisOfTheeThatISting: Explained in ''Lies''.
-->'''Franken''': We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, [[MyCountryRightOrWrong everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad]]. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow.
* OfCorpseHesAlive: Briefly discussed in ''Lies''; one of Franken's friends believes that Strom Thurmond may have died as much as 3 years before the book was published, and the GOP is pursuing this strategy so the Democratic governor of South Carolina doesn't appoint a Democrat to fill the seat.
* PaintingTheMedium: When ever he writes Alan Colmes' name in ''Lies,'' he uses a smaller font to emphasize how Colmes is dominated by Sean Hannity in his role of FoxNewsLiberal. e.g. ''Hannity and [--Colmes--]''
* QuickDraw: He is an acknowledged quick draw champion. It made the joke Bill O'Reilly once told about settling things with Franken like they did in the days of the old west hilariously ironic given that if that was the case, Franken would've been easily able to kill O'Reilly in such a duel.
* ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated: Al writes in ''Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot'' that his research assistant Geoff Rodkey contracts Lyme disease and dies[[note]] meant as a blackly comedic denouement of a series of chapters on the complexities of the legal system as it deals with health care and employee/employer lawsuits[[/note]]. Many of Al's readers apparently did not get the joke, and thought Geoff was really dead. A few sent Al letters telling him what a horrible person he was, working his assistant to death. In the paperback edition of ''Rush'', he assures his readers that Geoff is alive and well (wrapping up this addendum by once again announcing that Geoff has died).
* StealthParody: The title of ''Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot'' is a deliberate parody of Limbaugh's style of debate largely involving hurling personal insults at his opponents, and this becomes clear when you read the whole book, but most who aren't familiar with Franken's style of satire will take it as a straight-up AdHominem. In one of his later books he describes [[DontExplainTheJoke his attempt to explain this]] to someone who didn't get the joke, with limited success.
* [[StrawCharacter Strawman Political]]: Republican pundits tend to become this.
* StreisandEffect: FoxNews filed a lawsuit over ''Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them'', claiming that the book's subtitle "A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" was an infringement on their trademarked slogan, requesting an injunction against publishing the book with that title. Not only was the lawsuit laughed out court (it is long-established case law that copyrights cannot block satire), but the case gave Franken a huge amount of free publicity and greatly increased sales of the book.
* TakeThat:
** "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" could be interpreted as this.
** ''Lies and the [[ThatLiarLies Lying Liars]] Who Tell Them: A [[Creator/FoxNewsChannel Fair and Balanced]] Look at the Right''.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Franken bashing Silverman caused him to not be the executive producer of ''SNL''[='s=] sixth season...which, as it now stands, is considered an OldShame due to how weak and humorless it was under the direction of Jean Doumanian. (On the other hand, if Franken ''had'' taken the position, it's likely that Lorne Michaels wouldn't have returned, leading to some excellent seasons later on, and also fairly likely that Franken would not have gone on to his career in punditry and then on to the Senate.)
* ZeroGSpot: {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in ''Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot'' in response to something on the subject Newt Gingrich wrote in one of his books.
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