Is Al Franken Trying to Return to ‘SNL’?

Before Al Franken was a Democratic senator from Minnesota, he was a writer and cast member on “Saturday Night Live” — and a failed movie star.

When the film career didn’t work out, Franken turned to politics. First, he satirized the conservatives and Fox News through books and a radio show — and then he finally threw his hat into the political ring. Since 2008, Franken has been a U.S. senator.

It appears, however, that the politician may be feeling the urge to return to pure entertainment. He seems to be spending more time telling jokes for the cameras than fighting for issues within his state. At least that’s the impression some folks have.

Franken recently released his seventh book, "Giant of the Senate," which led to a jam-packed book tour. Now he's starring in comedy videos for a website called Funny or Die with former late-night host David Letterman.

In a web series entitled "Boiling the Frog," the 66-year-old Franken teamed with Letterman to spread the word on climate change, Trump, and hurdles in Washington, D.C. — and even attempted to spread a few laughs. It should go without saying that after all his humorless, suit-wearing years in the Senate, Franken is a bit rusty in the funny department.

Funny or Die is a left-leaning website that has often helped liberal politicians push their agendas, including former President Barack Obama. Under the veil of being a "comedy" website, it's an organization that has a very clear leftist audience — so Franken is doing little more with his videos than simply trying to earn some laughs and pats on the back from those who already agree with him.

"I don't want to take so much time with this that it looks like to people, like I'm not doing my job," Franken said to Letterman in the last episode of "Boiling the Frog."

It might be a little too late for that.

Franken should decide whether he wants to be a politician or an outright entertainer for the cameras. It seems to be a growing problem with politicians these days. Just look at New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.

While his city is literally crumbling and falling apart around him — and while he could have been honoring a slain NYPD cop who was gunned down last week while she sat in her patrol car — he jetted off to the G-20 summit in Germany to protest against President Trump for the cameras.

The American electorate needs politicians who are able to do more than just put on a show for the lights and cameras. If Franken wants to run around on book tours and create web shows, well, then, perhaps he should leave the halls of Congress and go back to "Saturday Night Live." Considering how Trump-obsessed and partisan the web series became in its last season, someone like Franken would likely be welcomed with open arms.

Last Modified: July 12, 2017, 10:23 am

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