October 25, 2005

Simulblogging Al Franken on "The Daily Show."

Wow, has he fattened up. "The President seems to be yelling at a lot of people right now," according to The Daily News, Franken says. Now, he's trying to describe his book, "Resurrection of Hope," which apparently contains a description of the future, which includes his becoming a senator (from Minnesota) in 2008. Something about impeaching Bush, then Cheney having seven heart attacks in one day gets a big laugh from the audience. The Democrats "need bold leadership." National health care. Republicans are the worst spenders -- applause -- it's in the book. End of interview. There was absolutely nothing funny said by Franken (or Jon Stewart). There was only one real laugh from the audience -- which was obviously ready to laugh -- and that was just over the hoary old idea of Cheney having heart attacks. Verdict: less amusing than Lou Dobbs on "The Colbert Report" last night.

UPDATE: Stewart was bizarrely inert. When he held up the book in the classic interview-ending gesture, I couldn't believe it was over. That was it? I think Stewart cut it short. But why? Because Franken was unfunny? That can't be it. Normally, Stewart would inject the funny to help out a dull guest. Can it be that Stewart dislikes Franken and deliberately let him flop and then cut the segment short?

24 comments:

tommy said...

Did he do the execute the President thing again or has he moved past that?

Simon said...

Presumably, the funny part was supposed to be the idea that a) Bush will be impeached -- I am reconciled to probably losing the House next year, but I think it unlikely that the Senate will go too -- and b) Franken will be elected.

Bruce Hayden said...

Simon,

Don't see how Republicans could lose the House next year. The country is too well Gerrymandered any more, and even if a lot of people don't like Congress, they invariably like their own Representatives and Senators.

Bruce Hayden said...

If Franken is going to run for the Senate, he has to figure out how to overcome the Air America funding scandals. You know, in particular, where almost a million dollars earmarked for kids and Altheimers patients was spent to fund the broadcast of, among other things, Franken's show.

He currently is playing dumb - but did sign something that did acknowledge some of the questionable goings on - supposedly at the insistance of his attorneys. Maybe. But his signature is still on the contract.

Jacob said...

The book is called The Truth (WIth Jokes, "Resurrection of Hope" is the epilogue.

Simon- the impeachment thing was actually somewhat funny, Franken postulates that in 2008 the Dems will sweep Congress and the Presidency. His idea was that they should impeach Bush during the 2 weeks between when the Senators take their seat and when the new President is inagurated. Why? "Because we can."

Bruce Hayden said...

I see that Frankin is still bitter that Clinton got caught lying under oath and obstructing justice, and, therefore became only the second president in our history to be impeached.

But as I pointed out to Simon earlier, it is highly unlikely that the Republicans are going to lose the House anytime soon. The pols have just been too successful in Gerrymandering the states into safe districts. There are just not that many vulnerable districts these days. Definately not enough to make Pelosi Speaker.

FXKLM said...

The Senate has no role in drafting articles of impeachment so Franken's plan of running for Senate so he can impeach the president doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Eli Blake said...

Bruce Hayden:

It is possible that the Democrats could control the house. Right now there are about 40 (out of 435) house districts that can be considered 'competitive' (D and R registration within 10 points of each other). Right now, Republicans control about thirty of those (in fact, I live in one, the AZ-1). If Democrats reversed those numbers, they could take control. Now I will concede it is an uphill struggle, but it is possible.

And according to the Washington Note, letters were mailed today (it's still Tuesday at my house) notifying between of between 1-5 sealed indictments that Patrick Fitzgerald will be issuing on Wednesday. There will be a news conference on Thursday.

If there are criminal trials going on during election season involving Tom DeLay and/or Plamegate, it could add to the Democrat's momentum.

Eli Blake said...

However, even if Democrats DID control the House, why would they waste their time trying to impeach a lame duck President? Even if they could get the votes to do it (beyond doubtful) hopefully they would have the good sense to realize that the reason they had control was precisely because people were sick of 'politics as usual.' It's hard to see how an impeachment trial could send any other message, given the current political climate.

Al Maviva said...

The thing I like about Franken, is that he's so stupid and so clearly believes what he's saying, that Republicans would have to invent somebody like that if he didn't exist. "Republicans are eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-vil." "Republicans eat small black children for breakfast." "Republicans are all plutocrats with fiendish plans for world domination." Franken's mere existence, has thus saved those of us on Karl Rove's morning talking points fax, a lot of hard work and effort.

On the plus side, he's one of the few raving left wing lunatics who doesn't have a big anti-semitic streak running down the middle of his (fat hairy) back, so I guess he's got that going for him...

Goesh said...

Fortunately at the local level people still tend to attribute merit and worthiness of office to deeds actually done and not done, and less to simple party attachment, i.e. note Bloomberg's popularity as a Republican Governor in New York. Bringing home the bacon for the home state is more important than someone from the same party in a different state being indicted. Thank God for common sense and people being smarter than career politicians want them to be. I rather doubt the folks in Minnesota would elect an extremist from either end of the spectrum, be it the jerk Franken from the Left or some jerk from the extreme Right.

Ann Althouse said...

I wonder how Franken handles gloating over Delay when he's got his own financial scandal to try to control. That must be tricky.

I liked the Franken of Stuart Smalley. I think he's at his best when he's doing his meek, self-deprecating routine. When he acts like a tough guy, it's just not funny. And it's ugly.

knoxgirl said...

Franken is so ridiculous, any self-respecting comedian should at least give him somewhat of a hard time. But Stewart won't do it. I think that's lame.

I also think it's especially pathetic that Franken is supposedly a comedian (I loved Stuart Smalley too) but seems to have no sense of humor about himself anymore.

bearing said...

Do you think it's just the echo chamber? I mean, if his audience is laughing and applauding at lame "impeach Bush" jokes, maybe he's losing his grip on what's actually humorous.

I'm a Minnesotan, and I think that's what's happened to Garrison Keillor in the last few years. (I still am fond of APHC for various reasons other than him.) The astonishing thing not the flatness of the hackneyed Bush jokes he tells, but the wild applause and laughter he receives.

I feel like if I pointed out "But... it's not funny" the audience would tell me I have no sense of humor, as if I have a moral objection to the idea of basing a joke on the idea that the president is dumb. No... I only mean it's not funny.

There's nothing novel about taking "Poles" out of a lightbulb joke and substituting "Jeb and Dubya."

Simon said...

Bruce-
I don't doubt that it seems almost unthinkable, but if I recall correctly, it seemed almost unthinkable at the time that the GOP would turf out an entrenched Dem majority in 1994. Indeed, it seemed to take the Dems at least three election cycles to realize that 1994 wasn't just an anomaly and that they wouldn't be resuming control any time soon.

The big difference is that the GOP took the House a decade ago with a credible agenda. It isn't enough for people to be frustrated and angry at a complacent and increasingly corrupt majority; the opposition has to offer a credible alternative, and the Democrats have simply never offered one (this is a start).

None-the-less, while I will certainly work to prevent it from happening, my prediction is that we'll lose the House next year. We're only talking about them winning 15 seats here - a tall order, but not impossible. I will be pleased if we don't lose, but frankly, as long as it seems likely we can get it back again, I won't be too cut up if the CGOP gets a rude awakening.

Simon said...

Incidentally, I would add that hopefully, the next time the House changes hands, everyone concerned will try to avoid squandering the opportunity to pass a term limits amendment. Rep. Platts (PA) had a bill this Congress, but no entrenched majority is going to sign off on a bill like that.

DCWilly said...

Bruce: when Rove and Libby get caught for lying under oath and obstructing justice, I am sure you'll note your outrage.

Tom said...

Al Franken won't be elected to the Senate from Minnesota, and it won't be because of his politics or his sense of humor or funding scandals or anything like that. It will be because we've already elected an unqualified celebrity to high public office once before, and as you may recall, that didn't work out too well.

Bruce Hayden said...

DCWilly

No outrage on my part. Sorry. Its hardball politics at the highest levels. Wilson did what he did to try to take down Bush. If they are convicted, then they should do the time.

Bruce Hayden said...

Simon,

But the voters would have to have some reason to vote for the Democrats, and they haven't given them a reason to. This takes an agenda, which they don't have.

Just running against President Bush is not enough. Indicting AND CONVICTING both Rove and Libby won't do it. It wasn't their local Representative who was involved, but rather the Administration.

Also add in that there has been quite a bit of Gerrymandering since the 1996 election. Before that, the Democrats were able to hold some seats that they shouldn't have had, notably in Texas, but also across the South. With Republican legislatures, many of these states have rewritten their boundries to be more GOP friendly than the previous Democrat-friendly districts there were before.

Needless to say, the biggest coup there was in Texas, thanks to Tom DeLay - which is almost invariably why he was indicted by Ronnie Earle. That alone probably guaranteed Republicans continued control in 2006.

That said, Colorado here could shift that much. It was 5-2 GOP before the last election. John Salazar took the western slope to make it 4-3. We could lose two more this election - one because he is running for governor, and the other because she is flaky in a swing district. All this because the Democratic dominated CO Supreme Ct. wouldn't let the Colo. legislature redistrict like thte TX Supreme Ct. let their legislature do.

PatCA said...

I saw Franken on Letterman, and I agree with Michelle Malkin: Al Franken is Cracking Up.

He's nervous, tongue-tied, bitter, overweight and not funny--and he hasn't even begun the political fight!

I also loved the STuart Smalley movie, but it's been downhill since then.

Elizabeth said...

I preferred the Franken journalist character, the one on location with a satellite dish strapped to a helmet on his head. I don't listen to Air America, but I got a laugh over the Rove and Cheney will be executed joke. Exposing the identity of an undercover agent for political gain? Isn't that treason? Don't we execute traitors? I found it absurd and funny. As Elvis sang, I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused. Medal of Freedom, execution; it's all the same with this administration.

Simon said...

"But the voters would have to have some reason to vote for the Democrats, and they haven't given them a reason to. This takes an agenda, which they don't have."

I agree, as I previously indicated ante at ¶2.

Big D said...

knoxgirl, the thing is that Stewart very rarely gives a lib a hard time so I'm not surprised. Usually the worst he'll do is some quick tension breaking joke. (Something completely not serious like sort of calling Seymour Hirsch for not giving him the war he promised.) Actually I've never seen him call a liberal on a talking point or lie like he sometimes gets a conservative. Now when a conservative shows up he sometimes remembers to do a serious interview. (But not always, I though he gave O'Reily a bit of free pass with that not serious, pro-rasslin esque interview.)
Still the interview did seem flat and pointless.