Al Franken Tells Us Who Is The Funniest Senator, And We Didn’t Expect This Answer

·3 min read
 Al Franken in The Daily Show.
Al Franken in The Daily Show.

Al Franken was a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live during a point in time that many would consider to be when the show peaked. In a career turn that some may consider to be odd, he later served as a United States Senator for nearly a decade. This mix of experience in both comedy and politics makes him something of an expert when the two overlap, which is why we’ll have to take his word for it when he tells us that the funniest senator is none other than Republican Lindsey Graham.

For the perfect overlap of both comedy and politics, Franken fit in quite nicely during his stint hosting Comedy Central’s The Daily Show last week. I was able to sit down with him in anticipation of the big week, and when I asked if he was an anomaly in bringing comedy to United States politics, he volunteered the following information:

I mean, I come from comedy where pretty much everyone was trying to be funny and most people are funny. And then in the Senate, there are some people, you know, very often people ask me, ‘who is the funniest senator?’ I say, ‘Lindsey Graham.’ And people get really mad, or at least, you know, Liberals do. But Lindsey is very funny. And there were a few senators who are funny and a lot who weren't. And I had some that were completely humorless.

While some may be surprised, Al Franken certainly knows what he’s talking about. After all, David Letterman called him one of the three funniest comedians. While he and Lindsey Graham may not see eye-to-eye on everything politically, Franken is able to look past that and be honest about the senator’s humor. Otherwise, he would have gone with a Democrat for the coveted title of “funniest senator.” Clearly he doesn’t hold too many personal grudges, as he also chose Sarah Silverman as his pick to replace Trevor Noah on The Daily Show even though she once stabbed him in the head on the set of SNL. 

Al Franken went on to give one specific example of a classic Lindsey Graham zinger:

He's got a really, really good sense of humor. I'll give you an example. In 2016, he's running in the Republican primaries for president. And, you remember, Trump was… and Lindsey was just way behind. And it was early on before he dropped out. So I said, I'm in the Senate back standing next to him, and I say, ‘Lindsey, if I were a Republican, I’d vote for you in the primaries.’ And he said, ‘That's my problem.’

That’s not a bad joke, not bad at all. The two must have become pretty good friends during their time together in the Senate, as Graham even joined him on The Daily Show. If you really watch and give the senator a chance, you can clearly see why Franken finds him to be so funny in a sea of “humorless” politicians:

While the way that The Daily Show has handled Trevor Noah’s exit is unusual, these guest-hosting stints have been a lot of fun. There have been many rumors regarding potential candidates to replace Noah permanently, but as of this writing, we’re unsure which direction the show will go in. For this week, comedy legend John Leguizamo will be gracing the famous desk, and you can catch new episodes of The Daily Show on Comedy Central at 11 pm ET.