Alan Stuart “Al” Franken (born 1951 in New York City) is, at present writing, a United States Senator from Minnesota. He earlier spent 37 years as a comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host, perhaps most famously as a writer and performer on the Saturday Night Live television show, for which he won four Emmys for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy, Variety, or Music Series. Viewers of earlier episodes may remember him in character as the soft-spoken self-help guru Stuart Smalley. Franken later became a political commentator, author of five best-selling books and host of a show on the relatively short-lived Air America Radio network. Among other awards, he holds the 1996 Grammy for Best Spoken Comedy and the 2003 Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album. In 2009, Franken was presented with the USO's Merit Award for his 10 years of service to the organization. .
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