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Franken helps craft McCain 'SNL' skit

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Al Franken
Minnesota democrat hopes to inspire a few laughs.
Photo: AP

Al Franken, the former "Saturday Night Live" star now running in a high-profile Senate race in Minnesota, helped craft the opening sketch mocking John McCain that kicked off the NBC comedy show Saturday, according to two well-placed sources inside the network.

Franken, who hasn’t been a staff writer on the show for 13 years, “phoned in” a spoof of McCain recording campaign ads in an edit booth, said an NBC source. Seth Meyers, the show’s current head writer, wrote it, but the sketch was hatched by Franken, a longtime liberal satirist and comedian.

An SNL insider said that, as of the Wednesday script read-through, Franken was the “credited writer with Meyers” on the opening sketch. Show veteran Darrell Hammond is to play McCain.

Franken’s input to the show blindsided his campaign staff, who have been forced to explain away some of the more crass and profane parts of his past writing and acting that have been used as fodder against him in a state known for its polite manners.

A spokeswoman for Franken, Colleen Murray, first said the Democratic Senate candidate “didn’t write anything for SNL tonight.” But pressed if he was involved in the show or had been in contact with staff members, Murray admitted Franken had a role in Saturday's program.

“Al has been friends with Lorne Michaels for over 30 years, and Lorne thought Al’s personal experience was funny enough for a SNL skit,” Murray said in a statement, referring to the show’s executive producer and creator. “Sure, Al keeps in touch with old friends but unless the skit is about non-ferrous mining on Minnesota’s Iron Range, Al’s not in the business of developing skits anymore.”

A Franken campaign aide said the candidate had been taping an ad earlier in the week and had wondered out loud how McCain could include the disclaimer candidates are required to include in their commercials — “I’m John McCain, and I approved this message” — when his spots were so “over the top.”

Later that day, Franken talked to Michaels about topics unrelated to the show and mentioned his thought but did not suggest a sketch.

However, Michaels talked to Meyers about Franken’s idea and the current writer, believing there was a funny sketch there, called his predecessor and they discussed it further.

Meyers then wrote it up.

Franken’s campaign sought to downplay the conversations, noting that the idea grew out of a discussion between old friends and that Franken had not been pitching an idea.

And a source close to the show said it was not uncommon for past "Saturday Night Live" stars to suggest ideas to current writers and cast members.

But word that the network’s signature comedy show has allowed a liberal Democrat Senate candidate to shape content mocking the Republican presidential nominee may fuel sentiment that the network is sympathetic to the left.

Told of Franken’s role in Saturday's show, a spokesman for Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign said it was ironic that the Democrat had a hand in spoofing negative campaigning.

“Angry Al has run one of the nastiest, most negative attack campaigns in Minnesota history,” said Coleman spokesman Luke Friedrich. “Angry Al complaining about someone else’s campaign ads is about as funny as 'Saturday Night Live' will get this year.”


Franken's campaign was damaged earlier this summer when Republicans unearthed a racy Playboy article and even more when it was revealed that in 1995, his last year on the program, Franken had joked about rape while crafting one of the show’s skits.

Faced with a groundswell of criticism, Franken distanced himself from his past work as a comedian. In June, he apologized for some of his more controversial comedy routines when he accepted his party’s endorsement.

“For 35 years I was a writer. I wrote a lot of jokes. Some of them weren’t funny. Some of them weren’t appropriate. Some of them were downright offensive. I understand that. And I understand that the people of Minnesota deserve a senator who won’t say things that will make you feel uncomfortable,” Franken said in his nomination speech.

 

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Replies: 524      
default avatar for user moonchild
Party: Democrat
Reply #1
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:22 PM EST

Here is a funny skit - how did the dems stop the investigation and do a complete cover-up on the person/s who hacked in to Gov. Palins' email. So funny!! Or how about this one - ceo's of fannie & freddie are obumers advisors and obumer took the second highest amount from fannie & freddie playing second to christopher dodd and the high & mighty john kerry was third. Hillarious!! Or better yet obumer trying to figure out how many states are in the USA. Now that would make a great skit! Or obumer being chased by a herd of pigs while giving Hillary the finger and calling Gov. Palin a pig. That skit would just be way to funny.
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avatar for user sean conners aka sconn1
Party: Libertarian
Reply #2
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:25 PM EST

moonchild: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:22 PM EST

"moonchild"...Stormfront called...they want their hate and rage back.


“You are interviewing the greatest free trader you will ever interview, and the greatest deregulator you will ever interview,”~John McCain~ (5/29/07 WSJ)
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default avatar for user **CHRISTINA**
Party: Democrat
Reply #3
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:30 PM EST

oooh here is a real story..there goes the left wing liberal media its all a big conspiracy against republicans. CONservatives are just funny in how stupid they are, SNL has material for years and years.
christina
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default avatar for user Jim Treacher
Party: NA
Reply #4
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:31 PM EST

That's right, folks: Facts are racist.
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avatar for user America08
Party: Independent
Reply #5
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:35 PM EST

Looking forward to it!!

======

Tina Fey should let Palin know that Alaskan wants to talk to their governor (see below link):

http://www.adn.com/opinion/sto...

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avatar for user DetCord
Party: Conservative
Reply #6
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:40 PM EST

Typical liberal ....


"Non nobis Domini non nobis, sed Nomini tuo da Gloriam"
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default avatar for user Sedona
Party: N/A
Reply #7
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:40 PM EST

One more example of the so-called (but anything but) MSM in the tank for the Dems in 08. Can anyone imagine what the jerks in the media would be saying or writing if the opposite happened, say a two-bit, no-talent Republican Senate candidate in the same mold as Franken did a spoof of Obama .... the Chosen One .... they would be up in arms and talking about how the Republican 'attack machine' was out in full force. The so-called MSM can't get any lower than their coverage this election.
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default avatar for user teej
Party: N/A
Reply #8
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:42 PM EST

Boy, and this is what is "news-worthy" these days!


The price of greatness is responsibility. - Winston Churchill
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default avatar for user scrivener
Party: Independent
Reply #9
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:42 PM EST

SNL WRITERS: MASS MEDIA HASN'T DONE THIS ONE. MAYBE YOU CAN SHAME THEM INTO EXAMINING THIS: FINANCIAL TERRORISM A ROOT CAUSE OF WALL STREET MARKET MELTDOWN? http://www.nowpublic.com/world... OR: members.nowpublic.com/scrivener
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avatar for user Jan from Amherst, MA
Party: Republican
Reply #10
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:43 PM EST

I think a good sketch would be Obama dressed as and playing the part of Jeremiah Wright/Father Pflager (they sound the same), Bill Ayers the bomber, Tony Rezko in prison stripes etc. etc.
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avatar for user Its Only Fair
Party: Democrat
Reply #11
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:45 PM EST

McCain in the membrane gave them a lot of material this week. He was bumfuzzled all week. Poor Fellow
alice
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default avatar for user MediaGuyAtlanta
Party: NA
Reply #12
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:46 PM EST

How's this sketch? McCain wins the Presidency and then yanks every GE contract with the Federal Government. Then GE CEO Immelt has to explain to the stockholders of GE why they are having to file for bankruptcy.. Hilarious! Funny how NBC Universal is in the tank for the Democratic nominee for President. I don't understand why the so called journalists at NBC/MSNBC do not enjoy First Amendment rights? What happens when Olberdumb and Maddow has to have a conservative voice on their shows when the Fairness Doctrine is signed into law? Remember every law has an unintended consequence.. does Fannie and Freddie ring a bell with anyone?
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avatar for user DAR
Party: Conservative
Reply #13
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 10:46 PM EST

zzzzzzzzz.....zzzzzzz
dar
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avatar for user Captain Universe
Party: Conservative
Reply #14
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 11:02 PM EST

That Al, what a joker. SNL, is that still on?
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default avatar for user travel girl
Party: Independent
Reply #15
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 11:10 PM EST  updated

Conservatives can moan and groan all they want pretending not to be interested in SNL and it's take on the weeks election, but the fact is that everyone will be talking about it Sunday and Monday -just like they did last week with Tina Fey.

SNL has a way of cutting thru the BS and saying it as they see it - The great thing about our society here in the US is that we have the ability to watch something else if SNL doesn't suit you. Those folks might want to check out the military channel.

I for one am looking forward to the entire SNL tonight. It will be nice to be able to crack a smile after such a horrible week of the bail out and wall street downturns we had.


I'm Bushed off and will yell it from the rooftops.

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default avatar for user TharMcClintok
Party: NA
Reply #16
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 11:11 PM EST

I agree this is a totally unfunny skit. I think a much more approriate skit would revolve around John McCain dumping his crippled wife for a beer-heiress 20 years his junior. Oh wait, thats not a skit, that is the sad life of the low-road express John McCain has ridden the last 30 years.
McCain abandons his family, will he abandon America?
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default avatar for user D MAC
Party: Conservative
Reply #17
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 11:26 PM EST

Hey, at least Al'a not off somewhere making jokes about raping women. I guess that's something.
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default avatar for user AmericanPatriot1
Party: NA
Reply #18
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 11:28 PM EST  updated

Republicans can't continue to be the antithesis of everything that America's young people are and stand for and stay in power forever.


"The opposite of war isn't peace. It's creation!" - Rent

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avatar for user ynot4tony
Party: Conservative
Reply #19
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 11:30 PM EST

Aren't Democrats whining about the fairness doctrine? Oh, that's right...they only want to apply it to talk radio! Intellectual cowards, the lot of them!
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default avatar for user MediaGuyAtlanta
Party: NA
Reply #20
Date: Sep. 20, 2008 - 11:37 PM EST

The sketch was very unfunny. No wonder Al Franken has not worked on the show for 13 years.. I think Lorne Michaels needs to get Tina Fey back on the show for more Sarah Palin. SNL is not like it use to be.
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Is the race at its tipping point? McCain expects to win in Virginia.


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