Al Franken’s January 12, 2020 podcast was an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell.

What to say? Al’s impersonation of Bernie Sanders could have been mistaken for Bernie, to my ears, except for a little bit of the speech’s wording. Both Al and Lawrence broke out with their original accents. Lawrence said that he got bored with football in his mid-twenties and hasn’t watched it since. At no point did Al start calling Lawrence, “Larry,” (thank you, Al!). Lawrence’s lack of ambition and uncanny knack for stumbling into opportunities, as well as his ability to build on these serendipitous moments, enthralled yours truly. 

But of course it would. I’ve been a fan of Lawrence’s since his McLaughlin Group days. At one point, back in the day, I actually took a  small black-and-white TV, complete with broken antenna, to a restaurant with friends to keep from missing the show. In retrospect, I’ve no idea why anyone let me watch it. The restaurant owners let me plug my TV in a wall outlet nearby. My friends didn’t seem to hold it against me later (but maybe they just didn’t say anything). Now, of course, I can listen to this podcast repeatedly (which I recommend to all) without looking like I invented weird. But my “relationship” with Lawrence is complicated. I still haven’t read his latest book, also known as his second book, or possibly even his last book, and may not ever, even though I got a hard copy when it first came out. 

In the first part of the interview, Lawrence recaps the workflow that led to The West Wing. In last third, or so, of Al’s interview with Lawrence, they started reminiscing about long forgotten events in the Senate—events that at the time I thought could never be forgotten. It’s amazing what all a person can actually forget though.