Franken to Letterman: Run for Senate

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenDemocrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Gillibrand: 'I definitely want to run for president again' Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' MORE (D-Minn.) has his own idea for an Indiana Senate recruit: David Letterman.

During a taping of Wednesday's "Late Show with David Letterman," Franken, the former "Saturday Night Live" star turned Democratic senator, urged the retiring late-night comic to run for the opening Senate seat in his home state.

"I think you should run," Franken told the host to applause.


Franken's comments came after Letterman ripped Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) for signing the state's controversial religious freedom bill, which critics say would legalize discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered individuals.

Letterman asked Franken what he could do to "make the governor of Indiana uncomfortable" over the law, which the comic opposes.

"As a matter of fact, there's an open seat there," Franken said, noting that his colleague, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), announced that he wouldn't seek reelection. He encouraged Letterman, adding that he would be looking for something to do after his show ended its run this summer.

The former SNL star shied away from his comedic roots during his first term in the Senate, but after being reelected last fall has been sharing his humor more and making more televised appearances.

Franken's return to the "Late Show" stage comes just before Letterman's final show next month. He will be replaced by Stephen Colbert this fall.

Franken joked that while he was a "satirist" during his time on SNL, Letterman was just a "clown."

But he later turned serious to praise the comedian as one of the great broadcasters of all time, calling him a "caretaker" of the "Late Show" desk.