Senator Al Franken appeared on last night’s episode of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah on a day when another entertainer-turned-politician informed everyone that the United States was abandoning the Paris climate agreement, despite the fact that nearly every other country on Earth thinks that saving the environment is something only a complete dipshit could be against. There to plug his new memoir of the decidedly Franken-esque title, Giant Of The Senate, Franken and Noah performed a nimble comedy doubles act (Franken still has a fine deadpan pause), when the Democrat from Minnesota wasn’t solemnly excoriating Donald Trump’s decision to, as Franken put it, give away our role as world leaders on the climate change issue (among others).
Franken’s path to power has paralleled Trump’s in some ways, not least in that the sentence “Senator Al Franken criticized President Donald Trump last night” would have sounded too ludicrous for satire around the time you were eating your Trump steaks while watching Stuart Saves His Family. Still, Franken (who recently shot down rumors of a presidential run of his own) seems to have entered this new phase of his life and career with, let’s call it, more of a moral compass. Citing his efforts to get to the bottom of that other guy’s increasingly inescapable ties to the Russian interference in an American presidential election, Franken—while assuring Noah that, yes, he is on friendly terms with people on the other side of the aisle like Jeff Sessions—nonetheless cited his televised grilling of Sessions as both his duty, and one of the main reasons the current Attorney General has had to recuse himself from said investigation. Even though Franken could appreciate the gift of a hand-knitted baby blanket from Sessions’ wife Mary to his grandchild, he also told Sessions to “eat his Wheaties” the night before Franken caught Sessions red-handed lying to Congress. Maybe Sessions should have tried some Little Chocolate Donuts instead.