Al Franken is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live. In 1975, Franken was part of the original writing staff that created the groundbreaking late night show. Franken remained with the original show until 1980, and returned in 1985. He stayed for another ten years, leaving after the 1994-1995 season.
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Franken has received four Emmys for his writing on SNL and a fifth for producing. Franken has also won recognition for his on-camera work, first as half the comedy team of Franken and Davis, then for his "Al Franken Decade" persona, and more recently for such characterizations as the one-man mobile uplink unit, Pat Robertson, Paul Simon, Paul Tsongas, and his most popular character, 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 by Dell. It is currently in its fifth printing, and provided the basis of a movie that Franken wrote and starred in for Paramount Pictures. The 1995 movie entitled Stuart Saves His Family was directed by Harold Ramis and received "Two Thumbs Up" from Siskel and Ebert. Franken's album, You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone it, People Like You! was nominated for a Grammy in the "best comedy" category.
Franken is also well known for his work as a political satirist, both on SNL and off. In 1988, he provided commentary for CNN at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. And in 1992, he anchored Comedy Central's Indecision '92, winning wide critical acclaim for his coverage of both conventions and election night. The New York Post called him "the Walter Cronkite of the 90's." His performances at the 1994 and 1996 White House Correspondents Dinner demonstrated his skill as one of the nation's top after-dinner speakers.
Franken has been a frequent guest on Comedy Central's Politically Incorrect, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Show with David Letterman.
His book, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations hit the New York Times bestseller list in its first week in the bookstores and stayed there for twenty-three consecutive weeks. Franken won the 1997 Grammy award for comedy album of the year for "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot."
Franken grew up in Minnesota and is a graduate of Harvard College. He has been married to Franni Franken for twenty years. They live in New York with their daughter, Thomasin, 15, and their son, Joe, who is 11.
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