Don Incognito's Reviews > Oh, the Things I Know!

Oh, the Things I Know! by Al Franken
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's review
Apr 12, 12

it was ok
Read in June, 2008

Having recently read a very strange conversation between Franken and journalist Bernard Goldberg (in Goldberg's book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America") I read this book, trying to understand Al Franken's humor style. I don't care about his political activities, but I basically wanted to know whether he's funny, and if so, why.

The book is occasionally funny at best, and often tasteless. There are no belly laughs here, but quite a few chuckles, and some serious giggles in Chapter 26, which contains a list of diseases caused by certain people or things as you get older. (No spoilers here.)
His jokes are is often tasteless, and occasionally, utterly disgusting for no good reason. There are occasional jokes on [...:], which were all completely unfunny; one really stupid joke in Chapter 26 about a man with an extra male organ growing out of his forehead, and frequent gratuitous profanity and obscenity. (The only one of those in the entire book that made me laugh was: "'But I don't have enough time to give to my own kids, much less someone else,' they might say. Well, numbnuts, have you ever thought of giving something back with *your* children?") This is entirely an adult humor book; I wouldn't expect a kid to read it, but if you see one pick it randomly off a shelf and open it, don't let them keep reading it.

This book suggested to me that Al Franken is a mildly amusing second-rate comedian who wouldn't be so popular if not for his political activities. He can't resist injecting a *little* politics into this book, but generally, he does a good job of keeping it apolitical, so if you're either annoyed by political tangents or don't share Franken's ideology, Oh, The Things I Know won't annoy you much.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Bill (last edited Apr 12, 2012 01:29PM) (new)

Bill  Kerwin Actually, he was a great comic writer, but that was a generation ago. He and his partner Davis were significant contributors to the Golden Days of SNL, but I don't think he's been as good since. I think his political involvement grew as his inspiration declined.

message 2: by Don Incognito (last edited Apr 12, 2012 02:58PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Don Incognito I don't know, but I think he could also act funny if he wasn't playing the horrible Stuart Smalley. I just remember that in 1992, a SNL skit depicted the Democrat primary contestants as speakers as a Star Trek convention, and the actor impersonating Paul Tsongas was hilarious. I was only 12 and didn't know who Al Franken was, but based on my memory of what the Tsongas impersonator looked like, it must have been Franken.

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