Al Franken Praises Michael Che and Colin Jost’s Weekend Update

Before embarking on a career in politics which led to him becoming a two-term Democratic senator for Minnesota, Al Franken was best-known for his two separate stints as a Saturday Night Live writer and cast member – 1975 to 1980 and again from 1985 to 1995.

Franken resigned from the Senate back in 2018  amid allegations of sexual misconduct, and now has a podcast, aptly named the Al Franken Podcast. He also recently kicked off a standup tour, An Evening of New Stand-up With Al Franken, which is making stops at City Winery locations across the country through the summer.

Franken spoke with Forbes about his new tour and addressed the current state of SNL’s Weekend Update segment, with which Franken was closely associated during his many years on the show.

The segment became increasingly political while Franken worked on it, something which continues to this day.

“I don’t see it as that different. It’s a platform for jokes about the news, you know?” said Franken. “I think those guys are really good right now,” he added, noting the work of current Weekend Update co-anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost.

Franken expressed a desire to get the Weekend Update role that ultimately went to Norm McDonald.

“I wanted to do Update and I didn’t get it. And I thought that was a wise decision,” said Franken. “I thought Norm [McDonald] was a better choice. I think he did a great job.”

He added, “I went in a whole different direction and started writing these kinds of books and stuff like that.”

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