Al Franken to kick off comedy tour as he tries to return to career after Senate resigns
Former Democratic Senator Al Franken announced this week that he will be launching a 15-date comedy tour in September.
While the description of his “The only former US senator currently on tour” remained vague on his website, Franken tweeted Tuesday that members of the public “would laugh and walk away hopeful, unless I’m in a bad mood.”
Franken was an actor and writer on “Saturday Night Live” before being elected United States Senator from Minnesota in 2008.
He remains popular among many Democrats despite being forced to step down in 2018 over allegations of sexual misconduct.
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Franken was forced to resign by fellow Democrats – led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, DN.Y. – at the height of the #MeToo movement after being accused by radio host Leeann Tweeden of kissing her against her will while on a USO tour in 2006. A photo also emerged of Franken smiling as he appeared pretending to touch Tweeden’s breasts while she was sleeping.
Preteen finally accepted Franken’s public apology. He was also accused by several other women of improper touching.
Gillibrand, who has attempted to project an image of a women’s champion, was the first Democratic senator to call on Franken to resign.
A year later, Franken told late-night host Conan O’Brien that he wished he could have “due process” in the Senate as he resigned before an investigation could take place.
“There really had to be a process, but I just couldn’t stay either,” Franken told O’Brien. “It was awful. There were no good choices.”
Several of his former colleagues in the Senate have said they regret having called quickly for his resignation. According to The New Yorker magazine, Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Called it “one of the biggest mistakes” he has ever made in his nearly 50 years in the Senate.
Franken also said he regretted his decision to step down without an investigation.
He has looked set for a comeback lately. He slowly resumed doing television interviews after his ousting, he has a popular podcast and a sympathetic 2019 New Yorker magazine article questioning the fervor of his expulsion has caught fire among many party members.
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Franken’s recent sightings in New York – he’s a native who moved to Minnesota as a child – also sparked speculation that he could launch a Senate campaign there, some hoped against. Gillibrand.