Al Franken contributes to SNL, but he's still serious. Seriously.
In case you missed the memo, Al Franken is actually serious about his campaign. Or so we thought. Franken, the state's Democratic candidate for Senate and comedian, was back in the spotlight again because he can't seem to kick the funny habit. After the episode of NBC's Saturday Night Live ran this weekend, Politico reported that Franken helped shape the opening skit, which mocks John McCain approving TV ads with vicious and false statements about his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama. Franken was a writer and performer on the NBC comedy from its premiere in 1975 to 1980, and again from 1985 to 1995.
Watch the clip after the jump.
The report sent the campaigns into their typical positions this election year: Franken frantically defending himself while Sen. Norm Coleman, his Republican opponent, pointed and laughed at Franken's continuous missteps.
Franken's campaign denied that he had pitched the idea to SNL, according to the Star Tribune:
Spokesman Colleen Murray said Franken had talked to SNL producer Lorne Michaels early last week 'to catch up on things' and had related his recent experiences taping ads that include the mandatory candidate-approval message. Murray said that Franken... told Michaels that McCain must struggle to approve ads that Franken characterized as 'over the top.' In doing so, Murray said, Franken provided what she called the 'accidental inspiration' for Saturday's mocking skit.
Franken also denied pitching the idea, according to the Pioneer Press: ""It wasn't like I was going in to pitch an idea. I was talking to a friend I've had for 33 years," he said.
An SNL source told Politico that Franken had been credited for the skit as late as Wednesday. By early Sunday morning, Coleman's campaign had released a statement commenting on the skit:
Al Franken can't help himself. Once again he proves he's more interested in entertainment than service, and ridiculing those with whom he disagrees.