Heard on the Hill

Comeback tour for Al Franken enters new phase with radio show

Minnesota Democrat was podcasting, now will be on SiriusXM

Sen. Al Franken and his wife, Franni, leave the Capitol on December 7, 2017, after Franken announced on the Senate floor that he would resign his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After almost two years in the wilderness, former Sen. Al Franken is jumping back into the public eye —sort of — with a new SiriusXM radio show that will focus on politics and culture.

The one-hour show premieres 10 a.m. EDT Sept. 28 and will feature comedian and fellow “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Chris Rock as Franken’s first guest.

This isn’t Franken’s first stint with SiriusXM. Then-fledgling XM carried his Air America show in the mid-2000s.

Franken’s early guests will also include former Sen. Harry Reid and former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

“When I’m interviewing Harry or former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, I‘ll be the funny one,” Franken said in a statement. “When I interview Rock or Patton Oswalt, I’ll be the one who served eight-and-a-half years in the Senate."

The format and guest list appear similar to Franken’s current podcast (“The Al Franken Podcast”) in which he talks to a comedian such as Dana Carvey or to Austan Goolsbee, President Barack Obama’s former chief economist.

Franken is one of several lawmakers who resigned following allegations of sexual harassment in light of the #MeToo movement.

He left the Senate in early 2018 following allegations of unwanted touching and kissing. The allegations led several of his Senate colleagues, most notably Kirsten Gillibrand, to call for his resignation.

Some of his former colleagues, like Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, came to regret forcing him out, according to a recent story about Franken and the allegations published in The New Yorker.

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