Alan Stuart „Al” Franken (born May 21, 1951) is an American comedian, actor, politician, and writer. He is currently the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He became well known in the 1970s and 1980s as a writer and performer on the television comedy show Saturday Night Live. After several decades as a comedic actor and writer, he became a prominent liberal political activist. Franken was elected to the United States Senate in 2008, narrowly defeating incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman. Franken is a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party. Born in New York City, Franken moved to Minnesota when he was four but he later went back to the East Coast and attended Harvard College. With his writing partner Tom Davis, with whom he had developed an interest in improvisational theatre in high school, he was hired as a writer for SNL at its inception in 1975. He worked on the show as a writer and performer until 1980, and returned from 1985 to 1995. After leaving SNL, he wrote and acted in movies and television shows. He also hosted a nationally syndicated, political radio talk show, The Al Franken Show, and wrote six books, four of which are political satires critical of conservative politics. Franken ran for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota in 2008 and, after a close race, he trailed incumbent Norm Coleman by 215 votes. After a statewide manual recount, required because of the closeness of the election, Franken was declared the winner by a margin of 312 votes. After an election contest and subsequent lawsuit by Coleman, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously upheld Franken’s victory on June 30, 2009. Franken was sworn into the U.S. Senate on July 7, 2009. He was re-elected to a second term in office in 2014.