Senator Al Franken Does a Pitch Perfect Imitation of Mick Jagger (1982)

If Senator Al Franken won’t run for President in 2020, perhaps he’d temper fans’ disappointment with a repeat of his early 80’s turn as Mick Jagger, above.

The performance took place at Stockton State, a public university conveniently located in New Jersey–what the late Tom Davis, Franken’s long time Saturday Night Live writing partner and Keith Richards to his Jagger called “the Blair Witch scrub forests twenty-five miles north of Atlantic City.”

Franken’s performance is an immersive triumph, especially for those who remember his best known SNL character, the lispingly upbeat Stuart Smalley.




His Jagger is the opposite of Stuart–butch, preening, athletic … a less than sober student fan in the Stockton State crowd might have drunkenly wondered if he or she had accidentally bought tickets to the Tattoo You tour. Those lips are pretty convincing.

The costuming is dead on too, and Franken did not take the route Chris Farley would later take, lampooning the male strippers of Chippendales. He may not be Jagger-rangy, but he’s certainly fit in an outfit that leaves no room to hide.

As Davis recalled in his 2010 memoir, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was There:

As we started “Under My Thumb,” Franken came running out as Mick Jagger, wearing yellow football pants and Capezios and was so good, it was scary. Unfortunately, Franken and Davis at Stockton State never sold very well… maybe it would be re-released if one of us became president, or shot a president.

Knowing that Davis, who died five years ago, would likely never have predicted the outcome of the recent election, and that Senator Franken, outspoken as he is, is in no position to joke about the second option, we suggest truffling up a used copy, if you’d like to see more.

And for comparison’s sake, here are the originals performing to an arena-sized crowd in Arizona in 1981:

Related Content:

Mick Jagger Defends the Rights of the Individual After His Legendary 1967 Drug Bust

When Bowie & Jagger’s “Dancing in the Street” Music Video Becomes a Silent Film: Can the Worst Music Video Ever Get Even Worse?

When William S. Burroughs Appeared on Saturday Night Live: His First TV Appearance (1981)

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.


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  • Josh says:

    I was utterly delighted to see that the author of this was Ayun Halliday. Both videos are worth a watch!

  • nikita says:

    Wow, look at the body on Stuart Smalley! hubba hubba :-)

  • Julie Peterson says:

    Thank you for posting these videos! Franken and Davis were great, and (if we survive Trump) President Franken will be wonderful.

  • PVO says:

    Stockton State College / University actually is a great place for shows. This was one of many great performances that occurred there.

    I once saw Milton Nascimento play there for just few hundred folks while he was selling out stadiums in Brazil.

  • Charles Fernswither III says:

    Bullshit. That’s Mick Jagger pretending to be someone pretending to be Mick Jagger. Cain’t fake them liyups!

  • susan says:

    I cut high school on 9/25/81 for the opening concert of the Tattoo You tour in Philly.
    That’s the tour Franken and Davis are parodying- and they nail it.
    And I do hope that Davis’ words end up being prophetic, “As we started “Under My Thumb,” Franken came running out as Mick Jagger, wearing yellow football pants and Capezios and was so good, it was scary. Unfortunately, Franken and Davis at Stockton State never sold very well… maybe it would be re-released if one of us became president..”

    /Users/Pep/Desktop/JFK810925-PG.jpg

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