Franken, My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn

Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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“Saturday Night Live” will probably be remembered more for the catch phrases that came out of the show than the belly laughs it generated.
Ie: “Never mind", "Isn’t that special," "I live in a van down by the river," "We just want to pump you up," "Yeah, that’s the ticket, " "Schhhwingg," I"’m getting all verclempt” and hundreds more.
But, like I said, in 33 years, SNL viewers have had to suffer through a lot of crap before being rewarded with some memorable comedy gems.
I still laugh when I think of Dan Akroyd  doing that mock infomercial for the “Bass-O-Matic” in which he ground up a fish in the blender. The bit ended with another original cast member, Lorraine Newman, taking a sip of the concoction and saying, “Wow, that’s terrific bass.”
Another sketch that made me laugh out loud was when Al Franken..one of the SNL’s writers, would appear on Weekend Update as a news correspondent doing live TV reports with a satellite dish attached to a football helmet on his head. If he turned ever so slightly, the signal would be lost. 
I also got a kick out of Franken’s lonely, misunderstood, insecure, effeminate character, Stewart Smalley, who , through self-help studies and psychotherapy, finally managed to convince himself and others that, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me. 
I stopped laughing at Franken, though, when he started taking himself so seriously, especially about politics. Anyone who didn’t subscribe to his uber liberal point of view was a back-room, cigar-smokin’, self-serving, right wing religious zealot bent on destroying the country.
After his failed attempt to become the Rush Limbaugh of the left on the Air America radio network, he decided to create a brand new image and run for office; the U.S. Senate, no less, and from Minnesota, of all places, where he was born and then promptly left at the first opportunity.
He must have figured any state that would elect a professional wrestler as its governor, might give a condescending, smart ass Democrat with a face people recognized from TV, a shot too.
Well, it turns out he was right and unless incumbent Senator, Norm Coleman, can finagle a legal way to overturn the official certification, Stewart Smalley, with a victory margin of 250 votes out of over 3 million cast, has himself a mandate and is off to Washington.Doggonit..people DO like him.
It’s sure going to be interesting to see if Al Franken has the rocky mountain oysters to continue being as outspoken on the floor of the United States Senate when actually confronting the sources of his irritation just across the aisle.
We’ll be watching, Al, to see if you’re good enough and you’re smart enough.
Just don’t turn your head too far to the left or we’ll lose the signal.

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