Al Franken

Actor, Screenwriter, Producer
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 ... Read more »
Born: 05/20/1951 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (57)

Split: A Deeper Divide 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Hot Coffee 2010 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers 2008 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2006, 2008 (Tv Show)

Guest

Jimmy Carter Man from Plains 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Manufacturing Dissent 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Al Franken: God Spoke 2006 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Movies That Shook the World 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

3rd Rock From the Sun 1976 - 1977, 1979 - 1980, 1988 - 1989, 1996 - 2000, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Lateline 1976 - 1977, 1979 - 1980, 1988 - 1989, 1996 - 2000, 2002 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Politics: A Pop Culture History 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Real Time with Bill Maher 1976 - 1977, 1979 - 1980, 1988 - 1989, 1996 - 2000, 2002 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Saturday Night Live 1975 - 1977, 1979 - 1980, 1988 - 1989, 1997 - 2000, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Tanner on Tanner 1988 - 1989, 1997 - 2000, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mouthing Off: 51 Greatest Smartasses 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Belzer Connection 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Manchurian Candidate 2004 (Movie)

(TV Commentator) (Actor)

Brilliant But Cancelled 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Andy Garcia: Latin Rhythms & America Dreams 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Only in America 2002 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

TV Tales 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Ben Stein's Brain 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist 1994 - 2000 (TV Show)

Voice

NFL All-Star Comedy Blitz 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Gilda Radner: The E! True Hollywood Story 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Definite Maybe 1998 (Movie)

(Actor)

Summit After Dark 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief American Comedy Festival 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Stuart Saves His Family 1995 (Movie)

Stuart Smalley (Actor)

She Tv 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Saturday Night Live's Presidential Bash 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Television Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Why Bother Voting? 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

One More Saturday Night 1986 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

Trading Places 1983 (Movie)

1st Baggage Handler (Actor)

From the Earth to the Moon (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (14)

Saturday Night Live's Presidential Bash 2000 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Writer

Saturday Night Live Remembers Chris Farley 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Writer

Stuart Saves His Family 1995 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Stuart Saves His Family 1995 (Movie)

(Book as Source Material)

The 67th Annual Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

When A Man Loves A Woman 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The 40th Annual Emmy Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Writer

One More Saturday Night 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Coneheads 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Writer

The New Show 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Writer

Steve Martin's Best Show Ever 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Writer

The Paul Simon Special 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Writer
Producer (4)

When A Man Loves A Woman 1994 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Saturday Night Live Goes Commercial 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Producer

Saturday Night Live 15th Anniversary 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Producer

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 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.

Relationships

Franni Bryson

Wife
Born c. 1952 met in his first year of college at a Harvard-Simmons mixer married in 1975

Joe Franken

Father
Was not at the hospital for Franken's birth due to a bad back died in 1993

Phoebe Franken

Mother

Thomasin Franken

Daughter
Born c. 1981 named after former writing partner, Tom Davis mother, Franni Bryson graduated with a degree in sociology from Harvard University and taught at a New York City public school also volunteered for her father's senatorial race in 2008

Joe Franken

Son
Born c. 1985 named after Franken's father, Joseph mother, Franni Bryson graduated from Princeton University in June 2007

Owen Franken

Brother
Covered the 1976 Presidential campaign

EDUCATION

Harvard University

Cambridge , Massachusetts 1973
Graduated cum laude

The Blake School

Minneapolis , Minnesota 1969
Was on the wrestling team

Milestones

2009

After a much disputed race, Franken was declared the winner of the Minnesota senate race by the State Supreme Court

2007

Announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate for Minnesota in the 2008 election

2006

Was the subject of the documentary film "Al Franken: God Spoke" that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival

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 The O'Franken Factor

2000

Wrote and produced the "Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash 2000" (NBC)

1998

Co-created and starred in the NBC sitcom "LateLine" until it was canceled in its second season

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, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations

1995

Adapted his book for the screenplay of the unsuccessful comedy feature "Stuart Saves His Family"; also played the leading role

1995

Wrote special material for David Letterman for "The 67th Annual Academy Awards"

1994

Feature co-producing (with Simon Maslow and Ron Bass) debut, "When A Man Loves A Woman"; also co-scripted with Bass

1993

Published first book, I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley

1992

Served as a producer, writer (of "special material") and performer for the "Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash" (NBC)

1992

Anchored Comedy Central's election eve coverage of the 1992 Presidential election

1992

Anchored "Indecision '92," Comedy Central's coverage of the Democratic and Republican conventions in NYC and Houston

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

1987

Hosted (with Davis) "High School Video Yearbook with Franken & Davis" on Cinemax

1986

Feature screenwriting debut (with Davis) with "One More Saturday Night"; also co-starred together as rock singers in a band called "Bad Mouth"

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

1984

Worked as staff writers (with Davis) on "The New Show" (NBC), a short-lived variety series produced by Michaels

1983

Appeared (with Davis) in the Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd film "Trading Places" as the baggage handlers with the gorilla on the train

1981

Franken & Davis hosted the second "Saturday Night Live" produced by Dick Ebersol

1980

Attacked then-NBC president Fred Silverman in the subsequently notorious "A Limo for the Lame-O" tirade on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)

1978

Had cameos (with Davis) in "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash" as promoter Ron Decline's (John Belushi) henchmen

1977

First TV special, co-wrote "The Paul Simon Special" for NBC

1975

Met with producer/writer Lorne Michaels who was assembling the writing staff for a late night sketch comedy-variety show

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

1975

Franken & Davis filled one apprentice writer slot (splitting the salary of $350 a week) while Alan Zweibel filled the other

Formed writing and performing partnership with Tom Davis who he met in high school

Played Santa Claus and Winnie the Pooh at a local Sears department store

Worked on the fringes of the Los Angeles comedy scene in the early 1970s

Bonus Trivia

.

At Harvard, Franken washed dishes as a participant in the work-study program with Richard Honaker, who was nominated by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2007 as one of three U.S. District Judges from Wyoming.

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In a July 2008 interview with CNN, Franken was endorsed by noted conservative speechwriter, economist, author and entertainer Ben Stein. 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."

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