Al Franken Testing Public Speaking Comeback With UTA

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Al Franken

The agency is representing the former U.S. senator for speech gigs

Al Franken is now represented by UTA as a public speaker.

His speakers bio on the agency's website touts him as "the only speaker on the lecture circuit who has won five Emmys, written four New York Times No. 1 best sellers, taken home two Grammys and served as a United States senator." It also says that Franken will "cut through the conventional wisdom and tell you how it really is" as the 2020 election season gets into full swing. 

That superlative comes from Franken's unique background as the only person who was once a member of both Saturday Night Live and the U.S. Senate. The Democrat was elected to one of Minnesota's seats in 2008 and won re-election in 2014. But his second term was truncated when he resigned last year amid accusations of sexual harassment.

Public opinion over Franken's decision to step down has been divided, and the debate was reignited last month thanks to a New Yorker story that questioned the legitimacy of the allegations, particularly that of Franken's first accuser, radio host Leeann Tweeden. Whereas some former colleagues, such as presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, stand by their calls for Franken to resign, others, such as Sens. Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy, regret the decision.

Since leaving office, Franken has regularly hosted his own podcast, which has recently featured guests like Veep showrunner David Mandel, comedians Dana Carvey and Sarah Silverman and other Hollywood notables.

He has also stayed in the political fray, at least in blog posts on his own site, offering advice to President Donald Trump after the El Paso mass shooting that entreated Trump to "Give the speech — a new speech — that expresses heartfelt sadness and grief. Do it from the Oval Office, not from one of your golf courses. And try to make it sound like you’re sincere, even if you’re not."

Bloomberg first reported that Franken is working with UTA.