Al Franken’s political career is over, with the former Minnesota senator stepping down from his position in December of 2017 over a series of sexual misconduct allegations (several women accused him of touching them inappropriate, both while he was still a comedian and when he was first running for office), but it sounds like Franken might be quietly falling back on his comedy experience. According to The Wrap, Franken says he was recently called in for a table read of a script that Chris Rock wrote, with him and “like eight comedy writers” getting together and “talking about and punching up” a script.
For those who aren’t in the biz, “punch-up” is when funny people are brought in to help improve a script without getting credited as an actual writer. Also, ironically, there was an episode of Louie about it. Anyway, The Wrap doesn’t know exactly which Chris Rock project this is about (it would be weird to have Franken help out on Saw, right?), but Chapelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan said on a recent episode of his How Neal Feel podcast that he was also in the room for this punch-up session and that he thinks Franken shouldn’t have resigned from the Senate.
The Wrap says it also asked Franken if he was planning a proper return to the comedy business, but Franken reportedly said he had to go because he was “in a studio now doing a podcast” (which sounds like a yes). All of this comes in the wake of a fairly pro-Franken piece from The New Yorker, which features a number of Franken’s former Senate colleagues saying they regret pushing for his resignation alongside comments from Franken himself. Basically, it seems like the “Al Franken’s redemption” machine is picking up speed, whether it’s deserved or not, so everybody should get ready to determine how they feel about that.