Who is the least funny performer ever to appear on Saturday Night Live? That’s a challenging question. The show has been on the air for decades and had dozens of cast members. Some seasons of the show are so spectacularly bad that people still talk about them years later.
Al Franken certainly has to rank among the most unpopular “stars” in the program’s long history. Besides being unfunny, he came across as angry and unlikeable. It was a shock when he somehow managed to finesse that stint on TV into a successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Now, a story in National Journal suggests that Franken will be setting his sights on the White House in the near future:
Al Franken isn’t a punch line in the Senate anymore. He’s emerged as one of the Democrats’ most aggressive and effective questioners of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees. He’s generated numerous made-for-TV clips as one of the few Democrats willing to go full-bore against his party’s top targets—Jeff Sessions, Tom Price, and Betsy DeVos. He’s finally showing some personality in the Senate, punctuated by his laugh-out-loud exchange with Energy Secretary-designate Rick Perry. And he’ll be one of nine Democrats on the Judiciary Committee questioning Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. This is Al Franken’s moment in the spotlight, and if he chooses, he could parlay his good fortune into a bid for the presidency in 2020.
To be sure, Franken, 65, may not be the Democrats’ strongest candidate in the general election. His deeply liberal politics and long-standing dismissiveness of Republicans turn off many voters in the middle. But with Democrats looking for strident opposition to Trump in the early days of his presidency, they’re probably not going to be in a pragmatic mood in the primaries.
If Franken is one of their best options, then clearly the Democrats are in deep, deep trouble. Obama has started something that is likely to end the party in complete shambles, and Franken’s futile fights against Trump in the opening days of his administrations may be their last gasps:
Indeed, signs such as the coming publication of his memoir indicated that Franken is trying to raise his public profile to make himself better known beyond his own state of Minnesota and the Beltway.
Should he seriously challenge Trump, the Democrats will have at least one dilemma on their hands: Having claimed Trump was just a “reality TV star” and therefore not worthy of the White House, how will they change their tune when a failed comedian runs for president on their side?
Source: National Journal