Sunday , May 26 2024

Franken Returns to Tube

I like Al Franken, although I like him much better as a humorist than as a partisan political pundit. Franken’s radio show will appear on the Sundance Channel beginning in September:

    “The Al Franken Show,” heard live each weekday from noon to 3 p.m. Eastern on Air America Radio, will go on display in a one-hour edition on Sundance each night at 11:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.

    ….The “Franken” TV hour is currently scheduled through the November election, but all parties voiced hope the show would continue on Sundance indefinitely.

    “It would be nice if it were a permanent home,” Franken said.

    A writer-performer who helped launch NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” three decades ago, Franken in recent years has been more identified as a left-leaning political humorist whose best-selling books include “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.”

    He became a talk-show host when Manhattan-based Air America signed on in March as a response to the mostly conservative world of talk radio

    ….The Air America network includes stations in 17 markets that include New York, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Anchorage, Alaska, and, starting next week, San Diego. It is also heard on the XM and Sirius satellite radio networks, as well as through the Internet on streaming audio.

    Distribution through Sundance will mean welcome added exposure for the show, and Air America overall, said Doug Kreeger, the network’s chairman.

    “It takes the network and lets people see how it works,” he said. “It puts a face to our voice.”

    Each day, with co-host Katherine Lanpher, Franken offers irreverent commentary, interviews and comedy segments often with an anti-Bush Administration theme: “Anything I can do to get this guy out of office I’ll do, and to get (John) Kerry in,” he said. [AP]

Nothing very subtle about that, no hidden agenda.

    “They just approached us, and we said yes,” Franken explained when asked how the Sundance alliance happened.

    “I don’t know how much I’m going to make an effort to adapt the show to TV,” he added, suggesting he might follow the example of Don Imus, whose widely syndicated radio show has been simulcast on cable’s MSNBC since 1996.

    “Imus does nothing to adapt to TV but sit up straight,” Franken said.

I don’t think Franken, who used the visual aspects of television effectively as part of Franken and Davis on the early SNL, then later as a cast member on his own (most notably as Stuart Smalley) will be able to resist making some alterations for TV. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got involved with the editing process since the TV show won’t be live and will be condensed down to an hour.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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