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Al Franken is the first former US Senator to guest host ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

Al Franken.Arturo Holmes/Getty

Al Franken hosted ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Tuesday, which marked the first time a former US Senator guest-hosted the late-night show.

“But tonight is not about politics. It’s about comedy and having fun,” Franken said in his opening monologue. “So who’s here from out of state to get an abortion?”

Franken, who served as a US senator from Minnesota from 2009 to 2017, resigned amid allegations from several women of unwanted sexual advances, a decision he later said he regretted. Before getting into politics he was a writer and performer on “Saturday Night Live” in the 1970s and ‘80s.


On Tuesday, Franken ran through the gamut of recent headlines, offering some biting commentary.

“We have some encouraging news out of Washington today: President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act,” Franken said, calling it “the single greatest investment” in addressing climate change ever. “While I’m here I should talk about some of the existential threats facing our nation ... but I really think one of the most serious issues facing our country today is just how big a [expletive] Ted Cruz is.”

Franken said he probably likes the Texas senator more than most of his former colleagues do, “and I hate Ted Cruz.” Franken called Cruz one of the most famous senators “because as I mentioned, he’s a huge [expletive].”

Franken’s monologue then segued into a segment on Hollywood Boulevard, where Franken played a game of “Can you name a single US senator?” He approached pedestrians and quizzed them on their knowledge of who’s in the senate.

Franken also offered commentary on the Mar-a-Lago investigation, and former president Donald Trump’s possible violation of the Espionage Act, according to a search warrant: “Mar-a-Lago is running a special weekend getaway package that includes free breakfast, a room upgrade where available, and a nuclear secret of your choosing.”


Watch the full monologue below:

Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.