Alan Stuart Franken (born May 21, 1951) is an American comedian, politician, media personality, author, and actor. A member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, he served as U.S. Senator from Minnesota between July 2009 and his January 2018 resignation.
Born in New York City, he moved with his family to Minnesota at the age of four, first settling in Albert Lea and later moving to the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. After graduating from the Blake School and earning a B.A. from Harvard University, Franken became involved in show business, specializing in political satire with friend and writing partner Tom Davis. An original writer and occasional performer with Davis on Saturday Night Live, he worked on the show between 1975 and 1980 and again from 1985 to 1995. After decades as an entertainer, he wrote four best selling books and became a prominent liberal political activist, hosting The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio from 2004 until 2007. In 2003, Franken served as a Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
On January 29, 2007, Franken announced his departure from Air America Radio and on the day of his final show, February 14, he formally announced his candidacy for the United States Senate from Minnesota in 2008. Though preliminary reports had incumbent Republican Norm Coleman ahead, the Minnesota Supreme Court ultimately certified Franken the winner in June 2009. During the debate on health care reform, Franken was one of the strongest supporters of a single-payer system. Citing the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, Franken introduced a limit to the arbitration policy of the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that withheld defense contracts from companies that restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery, and discrimination cases to court. Franken condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and called for a stronger response to the crisis and Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
After being accused of inappropriate behavior by multiple women in late 2017, the Senate Ethics Committee announced that it was investigating allegations against Franken. More than two dozen Democratic senators, led by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, called on Franken to resign before the ethics committee could review the allegations. Although Franken had asked to be allowed to appear before the Senate Ethics Committee to give his side of the story, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told him he had to resign which Franken did on January 2, 2018. In September 2019, Franken announced he would be hosting The Al Franken Show Saturday mornings on SiriusXM radio. It covers topics such as global affairs, politics, the 2020 presidential election, and entertainment.