Real Time with Bill Maher 1976 - 1977, 1979 - 1980, 1988 - 1989, 1996 - 2000, 2002 - 2005, 2016 (Tv Show)
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.