With modern history's two most unpopular candidates running for Ruler of the Free World, a dose of levity may be in order.
Enter Sen. Al Franken, master of hijinks and author of such searing cinematic drama as The Coneheads and Stuart Saves His Family.
His name has been bandied about as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton. Yet the lovable Minnesotan actually makes Clinton less popular, if that's possible.
So says the Monmouth University Polling Institute. It surveyed voters to see how various vice presidential picks would affect the race. Its findings: America does not like Franken as much as Minnesota does.
Twelve percent of voters said they'd be more likely to vote for Clinton with Franken on the ticket. Unfortunately, 21 percent said they'd be less likely. The remaining 67 percent mistook him for a carpet salesman from Coon Rapids who owed them money.
It's doubtful that Franken's a serious candidate anyway. With Donald Trump off shilling golf courses in Scotland, and Clinton playing it closer to the vest than a Cold War spy, the possibility seems little more than the idle yammering of the pundit caste, which is always on the lookout for fresh sources of conjecture.
And Franken shouldn't feel bad. Monmouth found that only Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would boost Clinton's candidacy. Neither is likely to be picked, since it would be good for the country, which is clearly not what this race is about.
The prospects are even worse for Trump, who's putting up stats that haven't been seen since Mussolini. A Washington Post/ABC poll found that 69 percent of registered voters view him unfavorably. The other 31 percent want the phone number of his hairdresser.
Trump's shortlist for vice president is rumored to include Sarah Palin, a Comcast customer service rep, and a Nazi apologist from Idaho named Fred, who won't say his last name for fear the government is listening.