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The Al Franken Podcast

Author: District Productive

Subscribed: 6,028Played: 128,466


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.

48 Episodes
The former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama speaks with clarity and common sense about how virus economics are different than normal economics.
One of the earliest and most outspoken critics of Trump's mishandling of the pandemic, Slavitt reviews its tragic consequences and where we go from here.
Turns out food is important. Andrew Zimmern, host and producer of MSNBC’s new series, “What’s Eating America” talks about the intersection of food and health, immigration, climate, and addiction – including his own harrowing journey to sobriety and grace. 
Russia’s transition from a brutal dictatorship to a fledgling capitalist democracy and back to a brutal dictatorship. 
In a time of an international health and economic crises, it’s good to have a POTUS who can be trusted by the world community. Instead, we have a grifter with an entire family of money-grubbing, lying grifters.
Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and Ian Bassin of Protect Democracy discuss Trump's sickening lurch toward autocracy post-impeachment with the cooperation of Bill Barr.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
The Felicity Huffman/Lori Loughlin scandal pales in comparison to the scandal of our higher education admissions system, which protects the privileged and leaves everyone else behind. 
Lawrence O’Donnell - Son of Dorchester, West Wing writer, Moynihan Senate Staff director - tears Trump and CNN a new one. 
Al and Conan O’Brien

Al and Conan O’Brien


Al and Conan discuss their time together at SNL, including Tina Fey’s shameless theft of Al’s Fart Doctor sketch and the time Al scared the bejeezus out of George Harrison. Very little public policy discussed. 
A replay of one of our favorite shows from early in 2019. Al and Sara discuss the risky comedy, politics and much more.
I rant about the dishonesty (and/or stupidity) of House Republicans during the impeachment debate. Also, about the shameless bad faith exhibited by Mitch McConnell. And the unraveling of Donald Trump’s mind – to the extent it was ever raveled. Plus, my frustration with the Democratic presidential debate our candidates failing to lay a glove on Trump. And with the Democratic candidates, who beat up each other, but failed to lay a glove on Trump.  
Al concludes that Trump is guilty, yes,guilty!, of high crimes and misdemeanors and so is AG Bill Barr after discussing facts with Harvard Law Professor Nancy Gertner and Max Bergman, director of the Moscow Project. They make the case that assuming Trump will be acquitted in the Senate is a mistake. Al concludes that "When you assume, you 'Make an Ass out of Uma Thurman.'" Uma discusses Pulp Fiction.
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.
A repeat of our first show with the President of Voto Latino, Maria Teresa Kumar with a new timely intro. Al finally took a week off. Okay?!
Foreign service veteran Peter Galbraith talks about his 35 year history with the Kurds and how Trump's rash decision to sell them out in Syria will undermine America's standing and security in the world for years to come.
Al talks to his former senior education counsel Sherry Lachman about her great organization, Foster America. She helped with a piece of legislation that is one of Al's greatest achievements as Senator. In the process of getting it passed, Sherry broke a cardinal rule of the Senate and got in a heated conversation with a sitting Senator, much to Al's delight. Plus, Al has some thoughts on the first day of the impeachment hearings. It turns out that the Republicans are acting as protectors for Donald Trump!Learn more about Foster America at
Comments (68)

Pamela Alcid

Ms. Dahlia Lithwick's criticisms of the Senate's (mis)handling of the #3's impeachment "trial", referencing the Senate's failure *as a whole*, and not just the GOP side of the august body, is an injustice, not a mere slight, to the Democrats who took seriously the challenge to the Constitution and who acted to protect its veracity and existence. and please, stop calling it a "trial", as it bore no procedural actions to same, and stop calling the outcome an "acquittal", as there was no trial.

Mar 4th

Deborah White

Al Franken, You know, for a change, here's a funny thought about your podcast. I have breast cancer (hilarious experience, as we all know) - going through 16-weeks of chemo, & here's the thing: I've discovered that listening to your podcast has done something good for me - actually disturbingly helpful w/my nausea. Thought this might need help marketing your podcast to other sick fans. Thank you, Deborah White

Mar 2nd

Ravi Gumpar

Al is brilliant, hilarious, and has the #1 podcast in the world.

Feb 29th

N Me

great show & informative, well spoken guest! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jan 27th

N Me

its power for powers "the world is not enough" for people such as the Gingrich's, McConnell 's, trump's and the like..I do not know how they continue to surprise me, yet here I sit, jaw dropped

Jan 27th

Rebecca Morris

I downloaded this darn app and I still don't know what exactly this "pod cast"thing is. Crap happens all the time. I have done my share, but we NEED the old Al back. I am a schmuck from PA who struggles with words. You were my voice and I NEED you to get angry and scream for me again. "It's not the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog". I am nobody, but I BELIEVE in you. 💜💜💜

Jan 22nd

Roberta Proctor

How I wish you were still in the Senate. So glad to find your podcast.

Jan 17th

L Yu

Trump needs to get out. Al needs to come back.

Jan 2nd
Reply (1)


All Everytime you said why didn't they go to the thought was WHY DID YOU FOLD AND LEAVE WITHOUT A FIGHT. You could have changed the path this has taken.

Dec 16th
Reply (2)

jas rother

rule by mob? midwest and other small populated states will be held to east/west coast will

Nov 10th

Anonymous Joe

Loved the reference to "wit of the staircase"! I first learned of esprit d'escalier 25-30 years ago and it describes me to a T. Never once heard anyone reference it, let alone use the English translation version. Never even met anyone who knew about it, including my wife, who is from France! Extra points for Franken!

Sep 23rd

James Palmieri

2 commie anti white anti police anti American libtards....I love when libtards are destroyed by their own ideas...bye loser

Sep 7th

Rose Rose

Excellent interview and great to hear from Walter Mondale (& Leo Kotke!) How about a talk with Andrew Yang in the near future?

Aug 27th
Reply (2)

John Reed

Am unsubscribing.

Aug 10th

John Reed

So yeah Andy is full of shit. We have one candidate that is guaranteed to fight like hell for single payer and that is Bernie. I get so sick of you corporate dems twisting and lying to still be able to protect your donors. And btw Al Franken maybe if you had voted for Bernie as a superdelegate we wouldn't be in this mess. Your state wanted Bernie but you said your vote was more important than your constituents. I really missed you Al but I see now you are a corporate dem protecting the donors. And dumbass all you had to do was not grab ass's and you couldn't manage that.

Aug 10th

Frankie B

I am really enjoying your Podcasts. Great works.

Aug 1st
Reply (1)

Josh Levine

he should run for president, imagine him on a debate stage with Donald Trump

Jul 29th
Reply (2)

Bart Stavisky

With all due respect Senator Franken, get off your ass and get back into the Senate! America needs you now! You said it yourself, It's a matter of life or death!

Jul 23rd
Reply (3)

Linda Sutton

The Skeptical Science app for IPhone only, not android, is no longer maintained according to the SS website. The arguments are part of the website.

Jul 1st

Katherine Worley

Great Show Really enjoyed the conversation with Nancy Getther and Jefgrey Tpobin. Keep up the great work.

Jun 26th
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