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

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
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...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/2004
  • Label: Artemis Records
  • UPC: 699675156626
  • Catalog Number: 51566

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Al 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
Al 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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