Al Franken’s thus far successful run for US Senate has seen the comic playing a careful hand, getting serious on the trail but bringing along just enough humor to be himself. Politicians “need to be entertaining. But not too entertaining,” says New York’s Ariel Levy in a profile of the would-be gentleman from Minnesota.
The real man behind classic stints at Saturday Night Live and Air America is highly sentimental and not nearly as liberal as his idol, former Senator Paul Wellstone. Minnesotans prize authenticity, so while Franken can’t totally go with his instincts, he’s got to keep audiences laughing to stay in the running.