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Franken Cracks Up ARCO

By Kyle D. Hawkins, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

With an explosion of anti-conservative jokes and scathing impersonations, Al S. Franken '73 addressed a packed house at the ARCO Forum at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG) last night.

A Saturday Night Live co-founder and Harvard Lampoon reject, Franken spoke about his politics and his new political novel, Why Not Me.

After an introduction from former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), Franken took the podium, saying, "I'm a Democrat, and I used to really dislike Alan. Now I miss him, which shows you what kind of Republicans there are now."

Franken then proclaimed himself "the warm-up to the Monica thing," pointing out that he needed to be done before Barbara Walters' 9 p.m. interview with Monica S. Lewinsky on ABC.

"Things to watch for tonight: Monica's views on Kosovo," said a tongue-in-cheek Franken. "You'll also see tonight why it was good we had no witnesses [in President Clinton's Senate trial]."

Franken also addressed the effect the Lewinsky affair had on the nation.

"I told my kids, 'I love you. You're safe. The president isn't going to try to have sex with you," said Franden.

Franken is also known for his political book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fact Idiot and Other Observations, a national best-seller.

"I often get asked why I gave the book that title and the reason is: you've got to remember that Rush is fat-really, really fat-I mean, he's a huge, huge, really massively fat guy," Franken said.

Franken is notorious for his anti-Republican humor. In 1996, he was fired from Newsweek for asking Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan if he Had, among other things, "ever had a homo-erotic dream."

Franken went on to explain the plot ofWhy Not Me.

"I wrote [it], to prove I shouldn't run [for president]," Franken said. "It's a scathing satire of the political system; it creates a situation in which I could actually win."

The satire is divided into three parts on Franken's fictional presidential candi- scathing satire of the political system; itcreates a situation in which I could actuallywin."

The satire is divided into three parts onFranken's fictional presidential candidacy: hiscampaign biography, a description of his campaignand victory, and a section of the subsequent BobWoodward book, The Void, about the first100 days of the Franken presidency.

Franken's fictional platform is based on asingle issue: "lowering ATM fees." When the Y2Kbug affects only ATM machines, he defeats VicePresident Al Gore '69 for the Democraticnomination and former Speaker of the House NewtGingrich (R-Ga.) in the general election, makingFranken the first Jewish president.

As fictitious president, Franken selects anentirely Jewish cabinet, but his presidencybecomes disastrous after he botches his inauguralspeech and ruptures Nelson Mandela's spleen afterpunching him in the stomach.

After discussing his book, Franken proudlydisplayed his anti-conservatism as he fieldedquestions from the audience. When asked what hethought about Hillary Rodham Clinton's possiblesenatorial campaign, Franken said, "What I'd liketo see is eight years of Clinton, eight years ofGore and eight years of Rodham-Clinton, for noother reason than just to make the Republicans soangry."

Franken concluded with some remarks on the year2000. "January 1, 2000, is not the new millennium,which is on January 1, 2001," he said. "ThisDecember 31, I plan to go around with Dick Cavettand George Will and just yell at people: 'Calmdown! It's not the millennium! Next year!"

Simpson concluded the evening by thankingFranken for being kind to Republicans.

"What you did tonight was hardly anything,"Simpson said

The satire is divided into three parts onFranken's fictional presidential candidacy: hiscampaign biography, a description of his campaignand victory, and a section of the subsequent BobWoodward book, The Void, about the first100 days of the Franken presidency.

Franken's fictional platform is based on asingle issue: "lowering ATM fees." When the Y2Kbug affects only ATM machines, he defeats VicePresident Al Gore '69 for the Democraticnomination and former Speaker of the House NewtGingrich (R-Ga.) in the general election, makingFranken the first Jewish president.

As fictitious president, Franken selects anentirely Jewish cabinet, but his presidencybecomes disastrous after he botches his inauguralspeech and ruptures Nelson Mandela's spleen afterpunching him in the stomach.

After discussing his book, Franken proudlydisplayed his anti-conservatism as he fieldedquestions from the audience. When asked what hethought about Hillary Rodham Clinton's possiblesenatorial campaign, Franken said, "What I'd liketo see is eight years of Clinton, eight years ofGore and eight years of Rodham-Clinton, for noother reason than just to make the Republicans soangry."

Franken concluded with some remarks on the year2000. "January 1, 2000, is not the new millennium,which is on January 1, 2001," he said. "ThisDecember 31, I plan to go around with Dick Cavettand George Will and just yell at people: 'Calmdown! It's not the millennium! Next year!"

Simpson concluded the evening by thankingFranken for being kind to Republicans.

"What you did tonight was hardly anything,"Simpson said

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