Al Franken is a step away from getting the nomination to run against Minnesota's Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in November.
This month, his competition dwindled down to an under-funded activist college professor who is given little chance of beating him at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor convention in June. The party of Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone will be nominating the author of "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot."
For Franken, since he first announced over a year ago, the political race has been no laughing matter. He's been working hard at fund-raising, matching the incumbent, and lining up the state's liberal constituency behind him. Serving as a Fellow with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 2003, he knows a thing or two about serious politics.
In Coleman, Franken will be facing a popular Republican, who was against the Surge in Iraq a year ago but has not otherwise broken ranks in opposing all Senate efforts to stop or slow down the war.
In a state that elected a professional wrestler as governor, Franken's show business resume won't be a fatal handicap, although Republican will be mining his books and standup routines for the most outrageous statements to use again him.
But Stuart Smalley should be up to the challenge of getting the first graduate of Saturday Night Live into the US Senate to show the jokers there how it really should be done.