Born in 1951 in New York City, Al Franken is one of the most biting political satarists of his time. Spending most of his childhood in the Minneapolis, MN subburb known as St. Louis Park, Franken became politically aware very early on. He started out following in the footsteps of his father by declaring himself a Republican. However, after prominent GOP figure Barry Goldwater began railing against civil rights in the early 1960's, both father and son officially declared themselves democrats in response. Franken then attended Harvard in the late 60's where he developed his comedic talent and started to get notice.
After graduating in 1973, Franken and partner Tom Davis soon were hired by Lorne Micheals to write for his new NBC variety show "Saturday Night Live". The rest is history; The innovative show became an instant success and propelled Franken into a lucrative comedic career. After leaving Saturday Night Live in the mid 90's Franken began publishing a series of satirical books that took to task not only prominent right-wing media figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, but also the whole notion of a liberal-biased media.
Franken is now popular on the lecture circuit, speaking to corporations, universities and other organizations. He has been a keynote speaker at the White House Correspondents Dinner for President Bill Clinton, talked for the National Press Club, Performed at USO tours and presided over commencement for Harvard Graduates in 2002. His most prominent endevour of late has been to spearhead a liberal Talk News Network "Air America" which is being picked up by radio affiliates across the nation as an alternative to Conservative Radio Shows. Franken currently lives in New York with his wife and is rumbling about possible political aspirations in 2008.
A good place to begin with Al Franken is the now classic "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations". Here, Franken derides prominent Right-Wing figures for the free ride he claims they've received from the mainstream media. For instance he touches on Conservative's preachiness over family values when in fact many of the people preaching are on their second or even third marriages. If you want a good first dose of Franken's comedy, this is the place to start.
Next up is "Why Not Me?" which hilariously tracks his fictional rise to become the 44th American President. He then winds up running the second-shortest administration in American history announcing in his resignation speech: "It is my fondest wish that, in the fullness of time, the American people will look back on the Franken presidency as something of a mixed bag and not as a complete disaster."
Finally there's the book that was the subject of a lawsuit in which Fox News claimed Franken had stolen the phrase "Fair and Balanced". While that suit was laughed out of court, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" has been the source of much needed levity for many of the people that groaned their way through the 2004 presidential elections. Here Franken takes on the idea of liberal bias in the media once again, and it is his most sustained and consistent attack yet. LearnOutLoud.com has everything available on audio by Al Franken, an author that is not only always funny, but informative as well.