The History of Actors Turned Politicians

Al Franken

Notable roles: Saturday Night Live (NBC, 1975-1995)
Political position: U.S. Senator, Minnesota (2009-present)

Of all of the actors (and we use that term loosely in this case) who have turned to politics on this list, Al Franken is perhaps the most unsurpising example.

After working as a writer and occasional performer on Saturday Night Live, Franken shifted to an acting career that didn’t exactly take off. So instead of trying over and over at a profession that just wasn’t popping, Franken turned to political talk radio and writing that brought his career into a new direction. His liberal slant and sharp tongue helped him gain political power among party members, and Franken soon tried his hand at a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota.

Following a contentious election where he ran against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, and months of trials and vote recounts, Franken officially won the seat in July of 2009. In typical Franken fashion, he has since been criticized for some of his remarks and actions, like rolling his eyes and making faces behind an opposing politician’s back during a speech. You can take the man out of the comedy, but not the comedy out of the man.

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