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Oct 20, 2019
This is a great podcast! Al is funny and intelligent and has a great rapport with his guests. This is very informative and interesting. Al, keep up the good work!!👍👍
Oct 4, 2019
Sep 17, 2019
Intelligent and funny. My favorite podcast. Thnx Al!
May 29, 2019
I like it so far. Al is great at radio, voice, timing and interviewing. We will see if he does NOT screw up, AND if he can do some repair with women. Sarah Silverman is my hero.
A five-time Emmy winning SNL comedy writer/producer, joins a four-time #1 NYT bestselling author, a three-time highest-rated national progressive radio host, a two-time Grammy winning artist, and a former US Senator. So, it gets a little crowded in the booth when Al talks public policy and sometimes political comedy with notable guests. Think “The Daily” without the resources of the NYTimes.
Whoever Wins the Popular Vote Should Be President. The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg and Al Discuss Why
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a compact to award member states' electors to the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide It will take effect when states with 270 electors adopt it.So far, 14 states and DC (representing 187 electoral votes) have compact. Colorado's legislature and governor have approved it (9 more electors) and nervous Conservatives have put it on the ballot as a Referendum in 2020. Hertzberg explains it all and why it's good for every American except Donald Trump.
|Nov 10, 2019|
Where There's Fire, There's Fire." Jeffrey Toobin and Dahlia Lithwick Discuss The Legal Issues Ahead in the Impeachment of Donald Trump
Jeffrey Toobin and Dahlia Lithwick examine the potential legal issues that may take center stage between now and the day the Senate decides whether Trump is guilty or not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
|Nov 03, 2019|
Judd Apatow Discusses Comedy, Mental Health and Politics
Writer, director, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The Larry Sanders Show, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Girls, Anchorman, Trainwreck) discusses comedy, mental health and politics. Al laughs and gets depressed.
|Oct 27, 2019|
Al Talks with one of his Heroes, Harlem Children's Zone Founder Geoffrey Canada
One of Al's heroes, Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, talks about transforming the lives of some of our poorest, most disadvantaged kids and how we can replicate that across the country.
|Oct 20, 2019|
Journalist Elizabeth Drew Explains Impeachment to Al
Al talks impeachment with Elizabeth Drew, veteran journalist and author of Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall. Her heralded dissection of the Nixon and Clinton sagas makes her the go-to on the pending Trump impeachment.
|Oct 13, 2019|
A Conversation with Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Al travels to Leader Reid’s home in Henderson, Nevada, to discuss his life and career, with a special focus on their relationship during the years he and Al overlapped in Senate.
|Oct 06, 2019|
A Conversation with Chris Rock
Mr. Rock is a well-regarded comedian, writer, and actor who is a friend of the host. They discuss a whole bunch of stuff.
|Sep 29, 2019|
Rising Democratic Star and Afghanistan Vet Jason Kander Discusses Putting The Brakes On His Political Career To Treat His PTSD
Afghan vet and Dem Rising Star Jason Kander discusses his decision to put aside politics to treat his PTSD and his work meeting the housing and treatment needs of vets suffering from the psychological wounds of war.
Learn more at VeteransCommunityProject.org
|Sep 24, 2019|
Renaissance Man Bob Kerrey Talks to Man Al Franken
A great show for a change with Bob Kerrey, Medal of Honor recipient, Governor of Nebraska, two-term US Senator, 9/11 Commissioner, and University President, on why he can’t keep a job. Also, China, trade, Trump and 2020.
|Sep 17, 2019|
How Corrupt is Trump? Veteran DC Watchdog Melanie Sloan Discusses the Trump Culture of Corruption in Washington
The least surprising episode of The Al Franken Podcast. Veteran DC watchdog Melanie Sloan tells us Trump is very corrupt. Also Ivanka and Jared. And Don Jr. and Eric. Plus the EPA, Interior, and Commerce. And, finally this week, the National Weather Service!
|Sep 10, 2019|
Obama Chief Economist Austan Goolsbee Explains the Unexplainable: What The Hell Trump is Doing On Trade
Austan Goolsbee, former Obama chief economist, explains that "in a crisis, the president's credibility is all he has." So, someday soon, The New York Times headline may read, "World in Crisis, Turns Its Eyes to Donald Trump." And other scary stuff.
|Sep 03, 2019|
A Conversation with Vice President Walter Mondale
Vice President Walter Mondale explains to Al why things have gotten so bad. And Trump is only part of it.
|Aug 27, 2019|
A Conversation with Joe Cirincione
Nuke expert and President of the Ploughshares Fund Joe Cirincione explains why we’re now in a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. A very dark, but hilarious episode of The Al Franken Podcast.
|Aug 20, 2019|
A Conversation with Heidi Heitkamp
The Founding Members of the Senate’s now defunct “Oh Ya! Caucus,” Former ND Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Al discuss Heidi’s new organization, One Country. How do Democrats get more votes in rural America? 1 – show up. 2 – listen. 3 – keep coming back. 4- listen to the podcast. Heidi lost her re-elect in a state that has turned solidly red over the past ten years. Al won both of his races in a purplish-blue state by winning big in the Twin Cities and Duluth. But he did better all-around and in rural Minnesota in his second race (2014, a bad year for Dems) because he showed up, listened, and kept coming back. Turns out rural Americans care about what other Americans care about: health care; their kids’ education; keeping their kids close to them. Which means jobs.
|Aug 13, 2019|
A Conversation with Andy Slavitt
Andy Slavitt returns to discuss the health care proposals of the Democratic candidates for POTUS. Al and Andy agree that it’s important for every contender to lay out their plans to get to universal coverage, but exhort them not to squander the enormous advantage we have over Trump and Republicans on an issue of such importance to every American.
|Aug 06, 2019|
A Conversation With Howard Fineman
How awful do you think Mitch McConnell is? Well. He’s worse than that. Howard Fineman, who began his career at the Louisville Courier Journal, has been covering McConnell for decades. Fineman’s McConnell relishes being a big prick. When coal miners with black lung disease travel from KY to ask Congress to restore the tiny tax on coal that funds their treatment, McConnell gives them all of 30 seconds. Fineman explains. Hell – the miners aren’t going to vote for him; the coal companies have always supported him with tons of campaign funds; and these black lung miners came to D.C. just to embarrass him. Well, screw you, coal miners with black lung disease – you’re all going to die soon anyway. Al tells a lighter story about presiding over the Senate during the debate over Elena Kagan’s confirmation to SCOTUS. Mitch gave the most condescending, sexist speech, typified by the following: “No one has any doubt that Ms. Kagan is bright and personable and easy to get along with. But the Supreme Court is not a social club. If getting along in polite society were enough reason to put someone on the Supreme Court, then we wouldn’t need a confirmation process at all.” Al breaks up and gets a nasty case of church laughter, as McConnell grows more and more infuriated. Find out how it ends in this fun, if somewhat dark episode.
|Jul 30, 2019|
A Conversation with Secretary Ernest Moniz
Former Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz and Al discuss putting pragmatic meat on the bones of the Green New Deal. Al coins a new Kennedy-esque slogan, “We choose to go to zero-carbon not because it is easy, but because otherwise WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!” Moniz, who was the chairman of MIT’s physics department, negotiated the technical nuclear parts of the Iran Deal with his Iranian counterpart. Because Trump has repeatedly called the US negotiators of the Iran Nuclear Deal “very stupid people,” Al tries to determine throughout just how stupid Moniz is. Not very, it turns out. And Al opens with a monologue about a high school commencement in Willmar, Minnesota, explaining that Trump has no understanding of what America is. The valedictorian was a girl born in Ecuador, the class-speaker, a Somali-American girl, and the class president, a boy of Minnesota Norwegian/German stock. They’re all Americans.
|Jul 23, 2019|
A Conversation With Franklin Foer
In the monologue, Al talks about the appointment of Pat Pizzella as the acting Secretary of Labor. If you agree that the House should hold hearings on Pizzella’s past, check out Al’s petition here:
This week, author and Atlantic Monthly staff writer, Franklin Foer joins me to discuss Big Tech. Are filter bubbles dividing us? Is Facebook deliberately keeping us angry and upset? Is everyone's attention span dwindling? Is Google selling records of all your searches? Is the Big One coming? You know - the day everyone who's ever watched pornography will be revealed to everyone else who's ever watched pornography?
|Jul 16, 2019|
A Conversation with Dana Carvey
Al and Dana discuss political comedy and how some of the greatest moments in SNL’s political satire were created. Al promised Dana to blow smoke up his ass during this interview, and, indeed, smoke is blown. Al opens with a monologue in which he assesses the relative talents of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. Hint: Reagan could read a speech.
|Jul 09, 2019|
A Conversation with David Mandel
Veep show runner, David Mandel discusses Veep and what the hell it is that a show runner does. Why Trump’s election made a dark, cynical show even darker and more cynical. Also, how David owes his entire career to Al – a career that includes writing and producing for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Veep, all shows that Al had nothing to do with. In his opening monologue Al calls the 2020 presidential election “the second most important election in our lifetime.” The most important being last one.
|Jul 02, 2019|
A Conversation with Michael Mann
Al talks to Michael Mann, Nobel Prize-winning climatologist for his work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We cover a lot of ground. How to talk about climate change to your crazy right-wing climate-denying uncle. “Uncle Hal, sea level is rising. For two reasons. Ice is melting. And water expands when it gets warmer.” If Uncle Hal insists sea level is rising because of all the rocks falling into the ocean, then just give up. We talk about how climate used to be a bipartisan issue, but since Citizens United, the Koch Brothers have threatened to primary any Republican who acknowledges the science. Addressing climate change has become a victim of our tribal politics. The answer right now? Win.
|Jun 25, 2019|
A Conversation with Andy Slavitt
The guy who pulled the HealthCare.Gov baby out of a burning building and then headed up Medicare and Medicaid in the Obama Administration discusses healthcare with Al. How Obamacare got so popular. (Republicans won, and their plan to repeal and replace sucked tail-pipe.)
|Jun 18, 2019|
A Conversation with Jeffrey Toobin and Nancy Gertner
An in-depth, but somewhat snarky, look at the Trump administration’s success in packing the courts with right-wing, Federalist Society judges. Gertner, a Harvard Law professor, and Toobin, CNN chief legal analyst, discuss some of the most cynical, activist decisions by the Roberts Court. Al calls Justice Scalia’s dissent in marriage equality, “Very gay.”
|Jun 11, 2019|
A Conversation with Michael Lewis
Al and Michael Lewis discuss his latest bestseller, The Fifth Risk, which Al calls the best book about the Trump Administration, in no small part because there’s very little focus on Trump himself. Instead, Lewis takes us inside of three Cabinet agencies – Agriculture, Commerce, and Energy – and the incompetent, venal, and/or corrupt appointees who find their way into crucial positions within the federal government. The head of science at the Agriculture Department is replaced by a right-wing talk radio host whose only qualification is that he endorsed Trump early in Iowa. Trump appoints the CEO of AccuWeather to head up the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, which includes the Weather Service. The CEO’s mission? To stop making Weather Service data publicly available to force Americans to get their weather forecasts from … AccuWeather! And, of course, there’s Rick Perry. At turns hilarious, insane, and just plain sad, this is a fascinating look into what happens to our federal government when the President of the United States has absolutely no understanding or interest in what the government does.
|Jun 04, 2019|
A Conversation With Sarah Silverman
Al and Sarah discuss her evolution as a comedian, the hazards of using irony in comedy (the viral death-threat against Sarah from a Florida preacher’s sermon), and the importance of growing as an artist and a person. Alternately edgy and warm and fuzzy, you’ll leave this one smiling.
|May 28, 2019|
A Conversation with Dahlia Lithwick and Matt Miller
Dahlia Lithwick, brilliant writer for Slate on all things jurisprudential, and Matt Miller, former spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder, have a lively discussion with an impassioned Al who argues that it’s time for the House to go to an impeachment inquiry or get off the pot.
|May 21, 2019|
A Conversation With Maria Teresa Kumar
|May 14, 2019|
Al Franken Has A Podcast
In this trailer episode to The Al Franken Podcast, Al sits down with Amazon's Alexa (Siri had other commitments) to review highlights of the upcoming episodes featuring:
Maria Theresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino,
Nancy Gertner, Harvard Law School professor and former U.S federal judge,
Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker,
Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short and Moneyball,
Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of Medicare and Medicaid,
Dana Carvey, actor, comedian, and Saturday Night Live alum, and
David Frum, staff writer at The Atlantic and former speechwriter for George W. Bush.
|May 01, 2019|