For those of you who have been pondering my twisted sense of humor, the culprit is Saturday Night Live and by extension-Al Franken. Being closer to forty than thirty, I was heavily influenced by the humor perfected on Saturday Night Live. It’s groundbreaking sketch comedy pushed boundaries like nobody else before. Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Al Franken, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Eddie Murphy, and Garrett Morris are among my favorite people. Before ten years old, I understood their humor. From the political satire to the sexual innuendo, I soaked it all in. It, along with SCTV, Fridays, MadTV, and In Living Color form the basis of my humor.
Today comes news of Al Franken, commedian, writer, and Air America radio personality jumping into the race for Paul Wellstone’s Senate seat currently being held by corporate whore Norm Coleman. Coleman, the former Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota is a New York bred,craven opportunist whose politics steadily moved from establishment Democrat to establishment Republican. Recruited to run for the Senate by Dick Cheney, he was on a trajectory to lose that race before Paul Wellstone’s fatal plane crash in October 2002 that changed the face of Minnesota politics.
I remember the shock and anguish I personally felt when the words ran across the monitor that announced the Senator’s death along with his wife, daughter, and campaign staff. His death marked a turning point for progressive politics in Minnesota and the depth of feeling expressed by mourners at his memorial service was seized upon by the right-wing in a propaganda campaign of distortion to energize the right.
Al Franken’s candidacy is a breath of fresh air and break from the politics of cookie cutter DLC automatons breathlessly mouthing the curative powers of the free market and incremental policy wonkism. Al believes in something and its progressive. The bottom-line for me though is his relentless lampooning of Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly. He reveals O’Reilly as the pompous liar that he is and that is more than enough for a Skeptical Brotha endorsement.