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Franken's most creative work
'Why Not Me?'
by Al Franken
Delacorte Press, $23.95
Review by Robert Nebel
Web posted on:
Thursday, February 11, 1999 3:22:48 PM
Actor/Comedian/Author Al Franken of television's "Lateline" and
"Saturday Night Live" would like to be president.
Why not? With former President Reagan's success story and more
Governor Ventura's rise to the top of Minnesota politics,
the idea doesn't seem too far-fetched. In this day and age of
Road Rage and ozone, the non-candidate has an even greater shot at
becoming the Chief Executive of The United States.
That is why in his latest satirical effort titled "Why Not Me?", Franken
proves once and for all
that he has what it takes to reach The White House in 2001 -- or that's
what his alter ego would like to think. Unlike his previous mostly
book, "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat Idiot", "Why Not Me" is a total
In a fantasy year 2000 campaign, Franken orchestrates a "Clintonesque"-
style run for the Oval Office worthy of a journal chronicling sex,
lies and disdain for New Hampshirites and Iowans alike.
Franken's centerpiece campaign theme-calling for the abolition of ATM
fees, which connects with the electorate who catapult him to the top of
As a result, Franken literally defeats his Democratic rivals in a
contest and a mean-spirited fall election when he trounces his
Republican nemesis, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
With his inner circle behind him throughout the campaign and in his
Franken creates a cabinet that does not look like America. Instead, it
is an all-Jewish
male cabinet which "he is comfortable with" including his brother Otto
legend Sandy Koufax, appointed to Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Coming into his first
one hundred days like a spastic horse, Franken falls into a deep
depression after an abysmal inauguration speech which alienates much
of the country.
After coming out of hiding, Franken decides to further alienate the
country by cloning himself
with a little help from his friend actress Anne Heche. His next
political move: to
travel to Baghdad and personally kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Luckily, his inner circle
was able to sabotage this insane plan by drugging the president aboard
Air Force One and returning
him to Washington, D.C.
Even the best White House spinmeisters couldn't save this "dream
from a congressional inquiry complete with heated exchanges from
Representative Barney Frank and Senator Orrin Hatch. Overwhelming
evidence of illegal
campaign contributions, inappropriate sexual relations and unethical
conduct plauging the Franken campaign and administration, leads to an
This over 250 page-plus fictional account is Franken's most creative
work to date.
With a keen ability to blend the reality with fantasy, Franken paints a
saga that keeps the reader in stitches from cover to cover. A word of
humor reminiscent of last year's film, "There's Something About Mary",
sprinkled throughout this "novel". Tales of campaign sex and
defecation may rumble some of the stronger stomachs reading "Why Not
With a resume that includes "Saturday Night Live's" Stuart Smalley
character to his current role
as Al Freundlich on NBC's "Lateline", it is quite evident that Franken
is a comic genius.
Me?" only furthers proof of this.
Robert Nebel is a video editor at CNN. He is also an Atlanta-based freelance writer who specializes in theater, film and book reviews.