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No joke! Comedian Al Franken wins Democratic Senate primary

September 9, 2008 | 10:20 pm

The "Saturday Night Live" guy will now take on incumbent Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, the former mayor of St. Paul, where the GOP's national convention was just held.

With less than half the votes counted, Al Franken was leading his primary primary competition, Patricia Lord Farris, a member of a longtime Minnesota Democratic family, 68% to 28%, in a seven-person field.

Coleman easily defeated his token challenger, some guy living in Italy.

Dean Barkley of the Independence Party will make it a three-man affair in an important competition that will help determine the makeup of the next Senate under a new president. This year the Republicans are defending about twice as many seats as the Democrats.

In other primary news, according to the Associated Press, notorious former Washington Mayor Marion Berry easily won the Democratic primary in that heavily Democratic city for a second four-year term on the City Council.

In their Senate battle, Franken will seek to portray Coleman as a Washington insider, and Coleman will argue he has the experience to better serve Minnesota.

For a three-minute sampling of Franken's standard stump speech, which seems somewhat longer, see the video below. For a six-minute video of Coleman's speech at the Republican National Convention, which seems only twice as long as Franken's, scroll down even farther.

-- Andrew Malcolm