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January 30, 2005

Al Franken IS... Comedy Gold™

I confess, I've never found Al Franken funny. Long before I was old enough to know or care about politics, back in the 70s, I used to see him on the "Franken & Davis" segment of Saturday Night Live. His smirking face on the screen was always my cue to take a bathroom break or go get a snack. I didn't find him funny in the 80s or the 90s, either, but I gave him one more try a couple days after the election. I tuned in to his Air America show for the first time, and I just couldn't stick with it. It didn't offend, or even irritate -- it just bored me.

But Al just made a fan. He made me laugh so hard on Friday I nearly plotzed.

On Friday, O'Reilly ran a segment about a CBC show that attacked FOX News (which was recently cleared for broadcast in Canada). There's plenty to criticize about FNC, God knows, so there's no reason why criticism of FOX should be intrinsically hilarious. Yet every time I see a critique of this channel, it's a tormented, hyperventilating cri de coeur from some lefty. And lefty cris de coeur are... well, they're Comedy Gold.

According to O'Reilly, the CBC show contrasted footage of him shouting with footage of Al Franken displaying hurt feelings. In the all-too-brief clip we saw, Al snuffled in a cracked, phlegmy voice about the wickedness of FOX. "I'm going to Kuwait and Afghanistan and Iraq next week for my fifth USO tour. (He wipes away a tear.) I love my country... um... (sob)... and... This breaks my heart, that this is the prevailing... that this prevails ... this kind of thinking."

I don't think I've ever laughed so hard. I drowned out most of Al's appearance with guffaws, so I had to tape the rerun to be sure I saw what I thought I saw — was he really crying, crying tears? Because FOX is mean? Yes, by God! YES HE WAS! The clip is below. It's short in length, but long on hilarity. Perhaps it'll be some kind of recompense for those who suffered through Franken's frighteningly narcissistic radio interview with Powerline's John Hinderaker. Click on the play button below to see the segment (40 sec).

(As you see on the clip, Franken is rightfully depressed about the degradation of public discourse in this country (which, FYI, he loves). He himself has always tried hard to elevate the level of discourse. Sure, some philistines would say that calling one of his books "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" did not serve to increase the civility and intellectualism of our public exchange of ideas. That title wasn't mean, though — it was just true. But right-wingers can't handle the truth, to Franken's eternal, tearful regret.

Similarly, in "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," when he called Sean Hannity an "Irish ape-man," and speculated on whether O'Reilly suffered from "Irish flu," — tee hee, those Micks! — those were not ad hominem attacks or ethnic slurs! That was satire, not racism. But right-wingers don't understand satire, to Franken's eternal, tearful regret.)

Why does the CBC bogart these wonderful things? We send Canada all kinds of great TV, yet they haven't sent us any brilliant comedies since SCTV. And now we find they're keeping their finest Comedy Gold to themselves.

Selfish, selfish Canucks.

And to think, those poor souls who use this will never know the sheer heart-lifting joy they've missed.

Update: A more thorough description of the program in question, which was discourse-elevatingly titled "Sticks and Stones," can be found here.

Posted by EtherPundit at January 30, 2005 12:44 PM   Category: Greatest Hits



I'm so glad you saved that clip. It's not gold; it's PLATINUM! I'm saving this to my hard drive as part of my collection. (That should also help keep down your bandwidth costs...)

This ties in very nicely, btw, with your "Victorian stereotypes" post. I think Franken was liable to swoon!

Posted by: Korla Pundit at January 30, 2005 06:29 PM

>Seriously, people. I've seen Will pefrorm maybe a dozen times and his material is completely different every time and always AMAZING. No other comic does what he does. It's more pefrormance art than stand-up. Not really stand-up at all, come to think of it.

Posted by: Deepan at September 29, 2012 04:38 AM