Al Franken is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, New York Times best-selling author, and Grammy-winning comedian.
In 1975, Franken was 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 10 years, leaving after the 1994-95 season.
Franken received four Emmys for his writing on SNL and a fifth for producing. He also 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 TV 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 was published in 1992. It provided the basis for a movie that Franken wrote and starred in for Paramount Pictures. The 1995 movie, Stuart Saves His Family, was directed by Harold Ramis and received “two thumbs up” from Siskel and Ebert.
Franken was co-writer of the Touchstone Pictures 1994 movie When a Man Loves a Woman starring Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan.
In 1992, he anchored Comedy Central’s “Indecision ‘92”, winning wide critical acclaim for his coverage of both conventions and election night. In 1996, he teamed with “Strange Bedfellow” Arianna Huffington, again covering the party conventions and election night for Politically Incorrect, where he continues to be a frequent guest.
His performances at the 1994 and 1996 White House Correspondents Dinner demonstrated why he is one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers.
Franken’s 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. There are now over a million copies of the book in print. Franken’s recording of the book on tape won the 1997 Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Franken’s third book, Why Not Me: The Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency chronicles the rise and fall of Al Franken, 43rd President, was also a New York Times bestseller. His fourth book, Oh, the Things I Know!: A Guide to Success, or Failing That, Happiness, was on the New York Times Bestseller List for five weeks.
His latest book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, has been The New York Times #1 bestseller for seven weeks and is still on the list.
Franken grew up in Minnesota and is a graduate of Harvard College. He has been married to Franni Franken for twenty-seven years. They live in New York City and have two children: Joe, 18, who attends Princeton University, and their daughter Thomasin, 22, who recently graduated from Harvard.
Franken has been a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Nightline, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The O’Reilly Factor, Politically Incorrect, Inside Politics, The View, and Larry King Live.