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The Al Franken Podcast

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.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci Answers the Questions You’ve Been Wanting to Ask

When will we be back to normal? Will we be able to find a vaccine for a contagious variant? Now that I’ve been vaccinated, can I see my grandchildren?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

42mins

21 Feb 2021

Rank #1

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Al Explains the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to Tommy

How we can move to a national popular vote without amending the Constitution?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

6mins

6 Jan 2021

Rank #2

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The Ground Game in Georgia!

D. Taylor – President of UNITE HERE – reports on what their 600+ canvassers are hearing at the doors. (Good News – no one’s pulled a gun on them like they did in NV and AZ during the general.)See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

35mins

20 Dec 2020

Rank #3

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Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice Talks Foreign Policy Successes and Failures

Al and Rice discuss how immensely consequential decisions are made in real time. Sometimes you get it right. Sometimes you don't. And how you deal with tragic mistakes but have to keep on going.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

55mins

8 Dec 2019

Rank #4

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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. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

50mins

27 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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Intelligence Expert Malcolm Nance Makes the Convincing Case that Trump is a Russian Asset

The author, commentator, and career intelligence officer lays out Donald Trump's decades-long relationship with Putin, the KGB, and Rusky Oligarchs. With a cast of unsavory characters like convicted Russian stooges Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, Nance leaves little doubt that the President of the United States has been and continues to be in cahoots with corrupt money-launderers and murderers. A fun show!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 4mins

16 Feb 2020

Rank #6

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Al Recreates McConnell’s Post-Acquittal Impeachment Speech

In case you missed the original!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

9mins

17 Feb 2021

Rank #7

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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.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

49mins

10 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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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. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

51mins

28 May 2019

Rank #9

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A Conversation with Jimmy Kimmel

Al and Jimmy discuss his radio days, Jimmy Kimmel Live’s rough start, then success, bad guests, his emotional appearance after his son’s birth, and his passionate support of universal health care.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

53mins

9 Feb 2020

Rank #10

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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.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 4mins

9 Jul 2019

Rank #11

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John Mayer on Playing Guitar and Singing at the Same Time

John Mayer talks about how he transitioned from pop star/tabloid fodder (recurrent Sexiest Man Alive) to the impossible challenge of filling Jerry Garcia’s gigantic shoes with Dead and Company, the current iteration of the Grateful Dead. (If you guessed Al is a big Dead Head, you might be right).Plus, an angry Al vents about the week's impeachment news.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

52mins

2 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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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.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

49mins

29 Sep 2019

Rank #13

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How We Got Here. Norm Ornstein on the Erosion of Norms from Gingrich to McConnell to Trump

Veteran Washington observer Norm Ornstein tracks the erosion of norms that once allowed Washington to work. From Newt Gingrich instructing Republicans to demonize Democrats as “sick, corrupt, traitors” to Mitch McConnell denying Merrick Garland a hearing.  The abandonment of fact-based evidence, shutting down the government, using the filibuster to grind the Senate to a halt, to a pathological President attacking the media as “enemies of the people.” See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

52mins

26 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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Joe Biden’s Closest Ally in the Senate, Chris Coons

 Al and Sen. Coons discuss foreign policy, a COVID relief package, and fondly recall a Coons-led trip to Africa where Coons got violently ill from food poisoning,See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

47mins

6 Dec 2020

Rank #15

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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.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

44mins

21 May 2019

Rank #16

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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.  See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

56mins

30 Jul 2019

Rank #17

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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.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

48mins

4 Jun 2019

Rank #18

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Top Dem. Election Lawyer Marc Elias Reviews Trump Legal Team's 59 Post-Election Losses

EPIC!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

48mins

3 Jan 2021

Rank #19

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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.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

53mins

20 Oct 2019

Rank #20