Al Franken lets the cowbell rip on video

The Pine City Elementary School Band leader Brad Mariska had a fever on Thursday, and the only prescription was more cowbell. Sen. Al Franken was happy to oblige. Why? Paying homage to an old Saturday Night Live skit.

Here's the cowbell clip:

Here's a few seconds of Christopher Walken in the classic Saturday Night Live sketch:

Frnaken was at the school to hear from teachers and administrators about how the federal No Child Left Behind education policy has impacted the school, to learn about the school's literacy program, read to a Kindergarten class, and discuss U.S. government with 6th graders.

According to his spokesman, Mark Kimball, the senator had no idea that Mariska was going to mimic the old SNL skit when he agreed to hit the band's cowbell, but he was happy to go along with the gag once it started. The band presented him with a "More Cowbell" t-shirt afterward.

The school stop was part of a day-long visit to Pine City, where Franken toured Sandstone Federal Prison, Pine Technical College and East Central Senior Secondary School in Finlayson.

Franken also spent time with Pine City resident Cindy Hickey, the mother of Shane Bauer, one of three American hikers being held and accused of spying by the Iranian government eight months ago.

"We've been working very closely with Cindy and others to do everything we can to gain their release," he said. "It's very hard on these families, but they're remarkable people who have worked together incredibly well."

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