At one point his radio show was going to be called "The Liberal Show,<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/21/magazine/21FRANKEN.html?pagewanted=8&ei=5007&en=5c47bbc5c11b11f2&ex=1395205200&partner=USERLAND ''Al Franken, Seriously''] [[New York Times]] Magazine</ref> but upon debut, it was known as "The O'Franken Factor," a name Franken chose to parody [[Bill O'Reilly]] and taunt him into a lawsuit, getting his show free publicity<ref>[http://www.kgw.com/business/stories/kgw_033004_biz_progressive_radio.d7edf1d8.html Al Franken's liberal radio network comes to Portland.</ref> When the lawsuit failed to materialize, the show was renamed "The Al Franken Show."
Franken ran for a [[Senate]] seat in [[Minnesota]] in as a [[Democrat]] during the 2008 election. Franken's rudeness, vulgarity, and coarse style led to questions about whether or not he alienated himself from the important undecided swing voters<ref>http://www.startribune.com/587/story/1083904.html Star Tribune retrieved 6 April, 2007</ref><ref>[http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/06/06/frankens-senate-race-haunted-by-1995-rape-joke-on-snl-set/ Franken’s Senate Race Haunted by 1995 Rape Joke on ‘SNL’ Set]</ref>. Franken was also called under fire for an interview he did in Playboy magazine that was considered by many to be unbecoming for a senatorial candidate<ref>http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/franken_playboy/2008/05/29/100040.html?s=al&promo_code=635B-1</ref> Many claimed that the article hurt him in his Congressional run.<ref>http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/Washington_Post_franken/2008/06/18/105702.html</ref> The election was very close, with incumbent Norm Coleman leading by less than 300 votes. According to Minnesota state law, a statewide recount will now commence. Coleman and his supporters called on Franken to halt the recount and concede, but Franken has refused to do so. Some believe his refusal to concede is because ACORN and others are working on his behalf to manipulate the vote count in his favor. <ref>http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/18048/</ref> Indeed, the respected [[Wall Street Journal]] has noted that the count keeps changing before the recount, and only in Franken's favor. Looking at what is happening in the vote tallying from a mathematical perspective, they find that it is an extreme statistical improbability.<ref>http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/franken_stealing_election/2008/11/12/150391.html?s=al&promo_code=711A-1</ref>