Palm Springs Speaks Speaker Series Relaunches with U.S. Senator Al Franken Appearance 

Former U.S. Senator, Author, Comedy Writer, Comedian, Producer, and Screenwriter Will Offer Insights into His Rich Past 

Palm Springs, CA (January 30, 2023): The Friends of the Palm Springs Library are excited to announce that the fourth Palm Springs Speaks Speaker Series will relaunch with a talk by Former U.S. Senator Al Franken. The talk will take place at the Richards Center for the Arts (the Palm Springs High School Auditorium) located at 2248 Ramon Road, Palm Springs, on Friday, March 31, 2023. A VIP Reception, in which limited attendees will be able to have an exclusive photo opportunity with Senator Franken on the stage, begins at 6 PM and the talk starts at 7 PM. The VIP reception will be catered by LULU California Bistro and will be the only opportunity to meet Senator Franken in person. As the reception will take place on school grounds, no alcohol will be served. The talk is expected to run for an hour and will be followed by a short Q&A session. Tickets are $35 rear reserved, $65 general admission, $95 premium reserved, and $175 VIP with a reception with Senator Franken. Additional speakers will be announced later in the year. More information about the speaker series may be found at 

“We are thrilled that Palm Springs Speaks will return for another season,” said Jeannie Kays, Director of Library Services. “Our presenting sponsor, The Friends of Palm Springs Public Library, enables us to bring a truly dynamic line up of thought-provoking speakers to the Coachella Valley. We have been honored to previously offer compelling talks in our series by Deepak Chopra, Robert Reich, Bob Woodward, Dame Joan Collins, Vice President Al Gore, Bob Woodward, Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman, Janet Mock, Rick Steves, and the legendary Jane Fonda. We thank our additional sponsors The City of Palm Springs, LULU American Bistro, Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, and the Palm Springs Cultural Center for their ongoing support.” 

About Al Franken 

As the only speaker on the lecture circuit who has won five Emmys, written four New York Times #1 best-sellers, taken home two Grammys, and served as a United States Senator, Al Franken brings a unique voice to the stage. Whether discussing his career in comedy or in public service, Franken delivers a singular experience — leaving audiences thoroughly entertained, more knowledgeable, and either optimistic or extremely depressed about our nation’s future depending on how he feels that day. 

Franken is delighted to talk about his fifteen seasons at Saturday Night Live with behind-the-scenes stories about the show’s evolution from Gilda, Chevy, Belushi, and Aykroyd to Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Chris Rock, and Chris Farley. Franken wrote a lion’s share of the show’s political satire with Jim Downey, a Republican. Downey and Franken felt it wasn’t SNL’s job to have a political bias, but rather to do well-observed political satire that made the audience laugh and had the virtue of not being stupid, rewarding viewers for knowing stuff about politics without punishing them for not. 

Franken saved his political bias for his books. Immediately upon leaving SNL, Franken wrote Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, the first of his four New York Times best-sellers, including Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. From 2004 to 2007 Franken was the #1 progressive radio talk show host in the country on Air America radio.


In 2008, Franken ran for the US Senate in Minnesota, clobbering incumbent Norm Coleman in the smallest clobbering ever… 312 votes. Franken was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 by a margin of more than 200,000 votes.


Franken gives another rare behind-the-scenes look at an even longer-running institution, the United States Senate. His bio says “What is Mitch McConnell like? Do you really want to know? Chuck Schumer? Lindsey Graham, Bernie Sanders? Deb Fischer? Who? She’s from Nebraska.” In his eight and a half years representing Minnesota in the Senate, Franken led on health care and education reform, privacy, mandatory arbitration, and the courts. His questioning during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings led to Sessions’ recusal from the Russia Investigation and Bob Mueller’s appointment to lead it. 

As Franken said when he left the Senate, “I may be giving up my seat, but not my voice.” The eponymous Al Franken Podcast focuses on the most important issues facing our country as we head into the 2020 election. With guests like Jeffrey Toobin, Michael Lewis, Nobel Prize winning climatologist Michael Mann, and others The Al Franken Podcast has been taking deep dives into the Supreme Court, the “clowns populating Trump’s agencies,” and climate change. 

About The Friends of the Palm Springs Library 

The mission of The Friends of the Palm Springs Library is to support the Library in providing world-class service to the community through the purchase of books, movies, music, the visual arts, furnishings & electronic equipment and by advocating for funding, gifts and memorials. The Friends of the Palm Springs Library, Inc., acts as the link between the Library, the community and its elected officials. It supports programs that encourage reading, culture, and the arts as well as volunteer-based activities to support the greater community. 

About Palm Springs Speaks 

Palm Springs Speaks is a speaker series presented in the west end of the Coachella Valley by the Friends of the Palm Springs Public Library. This speaker series was developed to bring noted speakers to the Coachella Valley. Proceeds go to support the Palm Springs Public Library. 

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