'This Week' Closer Look: Sen. Al Franken

ABC News' Jeff Zeleny speaks with Sen. Al Franken on his transition from comedy to Congress.
4:46 | 05/04/14

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Transcript for 'This Week' Closer Look: Sen. Al Franken
Pacific life. The power to help you succeed. At panel on health care reform, the first lady announced her comprehensive package would cover people with the willies, but not those suffering from the heebie-jeebies. Al Franken at the white house correspondents' dinner from 20 years ago. He's traded in comedy for politics. He won a senate seat in Minnesota by just 312 votes. He's trying to hold his seat. In a tough year for democrats. ABC's Jeff Zeleny joins him on the trail for a "This week" exclusive. Reporter: He may have the most famous laugh in politics. But these days, Al Franken is delivering a different kind of punchline. This may be overrepresentative of people who think about propane. Reporter: We caught up with Franken in rural Minnesota. He's starting to run for re-election, after spending his first term honing his serious side. You're not afraid to use humor. It seems like you've been selective in using it. When I go to the floor and with a colleague, will I crack wise, as they say? Sure. You know, and in a hearing, sure. It's who I am. Reporter: A top republican in Minnesota told me that you have done a remarkable job making yourself into a serious person. I was always a serious person. People who are funny are very often very serious people and vice versa. Reporter: He became famous bringing Stewart Smalley and other "Saturday night live" characters into America's living rooms. I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And dog gone it, people like me. Reporter: He's traded a television audience of millions to sit through meetings and tour factories. In hopes of sealing a bond with voters. I do. Congratulations, senator. Reporter: The far less glamorous life of a first term senator. Six years ago, you won election to the United States senate by 312 votes. The smallest margin of any senator. How did that affect your first term? I think it did affect it. I think I felt that I wanted to prove to all minnesotans that I was going to work for them. Is it still the Al Franken decade? Yes, it is. Reporter: What would comedian Al Franken say about senator Al Franken's first term? He would say I did well. Because I'm the same person. There aren't two different people. Reporter: Would he have fun with you at some point? When I made fun of politicians, it was because they were screwing up in some way. I don't think I could find anything, frankly. Reporter: Nothing? Whoo. That would be a really hard subject to satirize. I've just been impeccable. Reporter: Impeccable? Yeah. I've made some small mistakes, I suppose. Reporter: But as republican senators tell me, not a many as they hoped. Several gop candidates are running. Even in off the democratic year, for now, Franken holds a double-digit lead. How difficult is it right now to run as a democrat in president's second term? I'm very comfortable. Reporter: President Obama is saying democrats should not apologize for the health care law. I think the rollout was pretty disastrous. I don't think there is any question about that. I think there are parts of the law that need to be fixed. Reporter: Don't be afraid of it. There's a catch 22 there. If you think it's bad issue in your state, you're not going to defend it because you would rather talk about something else. Reporter: He's become a fierce critic of big corporate mergers and the loudest opponent to Comcast's bid to take over Time Warner Cable. Arguing it's a no-win for consumers. You could charge more. Reporter: But he also brings a flavor of fun to the capitol. Why the hot dish competition? Hot dish is a big thing in Minnesota. I thought it was a good way to get the delegation together in a fun, friendly way. Reporter: It's another chance to remind people of his roots. Kevin Papp, president of the Minnesota farm bureau, says voters have noticed. Six years ago, members of his group endorsed Franken's opponent. Senator Franken was on my farm two years ago and combined five acres for me. Reporter: How was he? He was great. I did corn harvesting. You go in a straight line. It's pretty easy. Reporter: It's all part of Franken's life on this side of politics. I enjoyed my other career. This is a great job. It's a great job. It's also great to make people laugh. Reporter: If he wins in November, he'll get the last laugh. His transition from comedian to senator fully complete. For "This week." Jeff Zeleny, ABC news, good thunder, Minnesota.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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