Around 1981, I think, when appearing on Saturday Night Live, Al Franken declared that the 80's were "The Al Franken Decade". It was in jest, of course, but now he stands poised to make the next one his for real.
On Tuesday, Franken was finally, formally declared the winner of the Senate race in Minnesota, defeating Republican challenger Norm Coleman by over 300 votes and after several recounts. Franken thus becomes the latest celebrity to successfully be elected to political office.
In the last 20 years, we've seen actors Ben Jones (ex-Dukes of Hazzard) and Fred Grandy (ex-Love Boat) and singer Sonny Bono elected to Congress. Former pro wrestler and actor Jesse Ventura ("Predator") was elected Governor of Minnesota 11 years ago, so that historical achievement gave Franken at the very least a fighting chance against Coleman. Heh, considering that Ventura's co-star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is the current Governor of California, what are the chances of another co-star, Carl Weathers, being elected down the road? I digress.
Franken's views skew liberal. He hosted a talk show on the now-defunct Air America radio network until last year (not readily available in upstate New York, insofar as I knew), when he stepped down to make his run for the Senate. It will be interesting to see what happens when he makes his first appearance on the C-Span networks during the next session of the US Senate. Especially in terms of Nielsen ratings, if any.