James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I'm Responsible for Al Franken

I recently stumbled on the last few minutes of Stuart Saves His Family.

I still haven't seen the whole movie. I saw the last half sometime maybe 16 years ago, somewhat ironically after coming home from serving a 16-hour day as an election judge in the Clinton-Dole election. It was on cable.

But this comedy has several memorable moments that made it more memorable to me than lots of serious, critically-acclaimed dramas about family dysfunction. Because the Stuart Smalley character (from the Saturday Night Live sketches 20 years ago) was so over-the-top, every other character seemed that much more human.

From what I've seen, it's a really good movie.

But you know what?

I didn't see it in the theater.

Siskel and Ebert both liked it. Harold Ramis directed it, and in my opinion he's A-list. I knew Franken was a really good comedic writer.

But my attidue was, "Oh, I'll wait until it comes out on video (or cable, as it turns out.) 99.93% of you thought the same, or didn't think about it at all. The movie grossed just $900,000.

Its failure launched Franken into a depression.

And then he turned to politics.

And that's sad.

If Stuart Saves His Family was even a moderate success, maybe Franken stays in entertainment where he belongs.

He doesn't belong in politics. Nobody does.

I'm not saying he's uniquely bad or evil among the ranks of U.S. Senators. On votes where I've noticed, he's probably a mainstream to above-average Democrat.

But it's a waste of talent, and I'm partly to blame.

I let him down.

And so did you.

So if you know of people who have a good product, support them. Buy the ticket. Attend the movie. Or whatever it is.

If you don't, they may turn to politics.

1 comment:

  1. James, I don't know why you're so distraught. Politics needs more Reagan-type comics, and you need the extra time not wasted on watching flicks to learn to become free.