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Release: Immediate

Al Franken to kick off Riverfest activities with comedic lecture April 20

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Comedian Al Franken will deliver the annual Riverfest Lecture at the University of Iowa Monday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Hancher Auditorium. His presentation, "An Evening with Al Franken," is the final lecture of the year sponsored by the University Lecture Committee. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Franken is best known for his work on "Saturday Night Live," which he helped to launch in 1975. He remained with the show as a writer until 1980 and returned in 1985 for another 10-year stint. Franken has received four Emmy Awards for his Saturday Night Live writing and a fifth for producing. He has also won recognition for his on-camera work, his numerous characterizations of politicians, and his most popular character, Stuart Smalley, the New Age cable TV host.

In recent years Franken has been an outspoken political critic and satirist. His book, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, was published in 1996 and became a nationwide bestseller. In 1992 he anchored Comedy Central's Indecision '92, winning critical acclaim for his coverage of both the Democratic and Republican national conventions as well as election night.

(Editors note: Franken will not be holding a press conference before his lecture. It may be possible to arrange some telephone interviews before he arrives in Iowa City. Contact Mary Geraghty, 384-0011, for information about requesting an interview.)