Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Schlubs for Franken!

Well, it's over. Al Franken is finally a senator.

It was about bloody time.

I was going to write a post naming Franken schlub of the week... but the more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that Franken isn't really much of a schlub. Despite the fact that he's clearly a really funny guy -- and also something of a goofball -- he's actually really, well, sort of serious. (And by that I mean a serious person. Who's funny.)

One of my favorite columnists, Jonathan Chait, wrote an article for Slate last year about how Franken was actually just a really humorous wonk -- which strikes me as about right. Raunchier than most wonks? For sure. But when he talks about issues, he's far more familiar with them and knowledgeable than a lot of politicians I've seen (including certain former Presidents and Alaskan governors, who shall remain nameless). Seeing him eviscerate clowns like Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly is actually a real pleasure. He is fearless about ticking off factoids and data. He seems a lot more in command of the issues than, say, Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwazenegger.

But during his comedian days, he did sort of revel in nerd comedy which, as a schlub, I certainly appreciate. In the clip I linked to here from Talking Points Memo, he did a wonderful stupid human trick on David Letterman in which he draws the lower 48 states in under two minutes. It was sort of adorable. (And, by god, he does sort of look like Mick Jagger!)*

Glad he made it to the senate. I hope he stays funny.

* Not necessarily a compliment to Franken.