“It’s Wednesday Nov. 2 and The Al Franken Show is here at the Cal Poly Pavilion!” said Al Franken while broadcasting his daily show live from the Christopher Cohan Center Pavilion Risers. KYNS 1340 AM, a progressive talk station called “Air America,” sponsored the event where nearly 200 people came to watch and listen. Though few students attended, the show was sold out and a few community members were turned away.
Franken, who is best known as a writer and actor on “Saturday Night Live,” sat in the middle of the room on a raised desk. He had headphones on, and radio equipment surrounding him. During commercial breaks in the three-hour show, Franken and producers continued to work. Audience members were only allowed to get up during these breaks. Franken began the show by mentioning some of Cal Poly’s most famous and notorious alumni. He mentioned John Madden, Weird Al Yankovic, and Scott and Laci Peterson.
Franken was joined by guests including California State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides and Cal Poly electrical engineering master’s student Robert Johnson.
As the host of a liberal talk show, Franken discussed many current events with a slant.
“A Cal Poly student has created a solar house, which you can do anything in – unless Alito makes superior court,” Franken said.
Other popular topics were ex- Chief of Staff to the Vice President Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
When Libby was first mentioned, the audience booed. Franken then said that every time Libby was mentioned, the audience must “awe” to show they are “compassionate liberals.” The audience continued this throughout the show.
The first guest was Angelides, who spoke of his plan to run for governor in the 2006 election. He also spoke about his disappointment with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He compared the governor to the president, saying neither has accomplished much during their terms. He also said that both posed as “compassionate conservatives” to get elected and then push a right-wing agenda.
Franken also spoke about the senate meeting and Nevada Senator Harry Reid. Franken said that the congress just does what the White House tells it to.
“Separation of powers doctrine does not exist in (Washington),” Franken quoted Reid.
Johnson then spoke about the solar house that architecture and engineering students have been working on for two and a half years.
“I think Franken wanted to emphasize one of the more progressive aspects of the college,” Johnson said.
The completely solar-powered house received third place at The Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. this fall.
“We are leading the way to show that solar power can work and can accommodate our lifestyles today,” Johnson said.
The Cal Poly Solar Decathlon team is looking for new students to participate and will be presenting their project Friday at the Business Rotunda building 3, room 213.