Franken’s Wife Discusses Her Alcoholism in New Senate TV Ad

Posted October 2, 2008 at 5:33pm

Bringing his personal life to the forefront of his campaign for the Senate in Minnesota, comedian Al Franken’s (D) most recent TV advertisement touches on his wife’s bout with alcoholism more than 20 years ago.

Franken is challenging Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) in one of the most hotly contested and expensive statewide races in the country. Franni Franken is a frequent stand-in for her husband on the campaign trail.

In the 60-second spot, Franni Franken talks about how her husband steadfastly stood by her side during her struggle.

“I first met Al at a freshman dance in college and it was love at first sight,” Franni Franken says in the ad. “We’ve been married now for almost 33 years, and we’ve been so blessed in so many ways. But we also had some bad times, and at one point in our life, I struggled with alcohol dependency. How could a mother of two fabulous, healthy children be an alcoholic? When I was struggling with my recovery, Al stood right by my side and he stood up for me. After what we went through, Al wrote two beautiful movies. And he wrote them because he wanted to help people, and they’re used in rehabs all over the country. The Al Franken I know stood by me through thick and thin, so I know he’ll always come through for Minnesotans.”

While Franni Franken’s struggle with alcohol dependency was not necessarily public knowledge, it wasn’t a secret, either: Al Franken co-wrote the 1994 film “When a Man Loves a Woman” based on his personal experience with his wife.