Al Franken’s ‘New York City Problem’

Al Franken
Photo: Getty Images

In national politics, having New York City in your past can be just as bad as having a closetful of dead tranny hookers. That's what some people think, anyway. Today's Sun declares that Al Franken, who is having some problems with his senatorial campaign in Minnesota, is "doomed by his own New York past." The former SNL writer and Air America host has been taking some heat over in the heartland for neglecting to pay some taxes and benefits to his employees as well as for some raunchy jokes he's made in the past, such as this lovely bit he was working on in the writer's room at SNL, as recorded in a 1995 feature in New York .

Franken: "And, 'I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley's passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.' Or, 'That's why you never see Lesley until February.' Or, 'When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.'"


Franken has since apologized and admitted the joke was offensive. Priscilla Lord Faris, a former supporter turned opponent, sums up Franken's problem thusly: "We kind of call it the New York City problem," she said. Please. Franken doesn't have a New York City problem; he just has the same problem Giuliani had, which is that he's not very funny. What's weird is that you would think in politics, that would be a good thing.

"New York City Problem" Dogs Franken Campaign [NYS]
Earlier: Al Franken Decides He's Good Enough, Smart Enough to Run For Senate; Don't Laugh [NYM]