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O'Franken Factor Factor: The Very Best of the O'Franken Factor
     

The O'Franken Factor Factor: The Very Best of the O'Franken Factor

by Al Franken
 
Comedy is best served fresh -- especially the dry, topical, political comedy Al Franken delivers each day on his Air America Radio Network program, which was still dubbed The O'Franken Factor when these bits were aired. (It's now just The Al Franken Show.) So it's no surprise that this compilation, a mix of skits and extended riffs from the show's first

Overview

Comedy is best served fresh -- especially the dry, topical, political comedy Al Franken delivers each day on his Air America Radio Network program, which was still dubbed The O'Franken Factor when these bits were aired. (It's now just The Al Franken Show.) So it's no surprise that this compilation, a mix of skits and extended riffs from the show's first several months, generates more smiles than belly laughs. Fans, especially the multitudes who have not been able to tune in to the show, will welcome this 80-minute CD from the bestselling author, humorist, and former Saturday Night Live fixture. Among the best of the disc's 27 cuts are four segments, spaced out through the collection, wherein Franken and co-host Katherine Lanpher check in on right-wing hatchet-girl-cum-glamour-puss Ann Coulter -- whom they claim to have locked up in their greenroom. It is such a spot-on Coulter impersonation that you could almost believe it's actually her, demonstrating a surprising talent for self-deprecation. Witty, too, are songs poking fun at such favored Franken targets as Rush Limbaugh and William Bennett, voiced by sound-alikes. The former ("My Drugs Are Red, White, and Blue") works better than the latter ("Outrageous in Vegas"), mainly because it's more cruel and vicious. Which is, it seems after listening to 80 minutes of Franken, not really his style. For all the put-up-your-dukes bombast built into his book titles (Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them), his forte is cleverness, and that comes through in subtle touches that you'll appreciate through repeated listening.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Perry Seibert
When the left-leaning talk-radio network Air America hit the airwaves, Al Franken was the most famous figure in the initial lineup of show hosts. He and co-host Katherine Lanpher called their program The O'Franken Factor in the hopes that Fox talking head Bill O'Reilly would sue and provide more publicity. The O'Franken Factor Factor collects 27 of the show's crafted comedy bits. The humor falls into three basic categories. Of little substance are bits that mock right-wing pundits of the time like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. While these bits will certainly bring a smile to the face of those sympathetic with Franken's viewpoint, the fact is these bits will not age well and are often simple-minded. A small number of skits on this CD are about radio itself. One of the funniest pieces, "The Audio Crawl," attempts to make Air America sound like CNN, Fox News, and CNBC look, and does a perfect job of pointing out the ludicrous qualities of a 24-hour news cycle. The very best sections of the CD use news events as a jumping-off point to make barbed satirical jabs at the neo-conservative ideology that is the show's (and the network's) real enemy. A conversation between Dick Cheney and Judge Antonin Scalia (voiced by Franken and actor Stanley Tucci) manages to skewer the Bush administration's rampant cronyism while producing laughs. And the final piece, a broadcast of "The Iraqi Independence Day Parade," has become more heartbreaking than funny in the months since it originally aired (which was right after the hand over of power in Iraq in late June of 2004). While this album will certainly play well to the base, Franken's books offer sharper observations and funnier moments.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/21/2004
Label:
Artemis Records
UPC:
0699675156626
catalogNumber:
51566

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Franken   Primary Artist,Spoken Word
Wayne Lammers   Vocals

Technical Credits

Pete Levin   Arranger,Composer,Orchestration
Bebe Neuwirth   Composer
Jim Norton   Research Direction
Robert Smigel   Composer
Franken   Composer,Liner Notes
Stanley Tucci   Composer
Christian Rosén   Engineer
Billy Kimball   Composer,Executive Producer
Wayne Lammers   Composer
Katherine Lanpher   Composer,Contributor
Ben Wikler   Composer,Producer
Gabrielle Zuckerman   Composer,Executive Producer
Ben Wikler   Audio Production

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