Perry and Franken find 'Saturday Night Live soundbite'

Senator Al Franken and former Texas Governor Rick Perry bring a moment of levity to a hearing meant to vet US President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Energy.

UNITED STATES (REUTERS) - Rick Perry, US President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Energy Department, offered unintentional comic relief during his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday (Jan 19).

Mr Perry, 66, the former governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, brought laughter to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in his response to Al Franken, a former writer and performer on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, but now a Democratic senator from Minnesota.

“Governor, thank you so much for coming into my office. Did you enjoy meeting me?” asked Mr Franken after several hours of testimony in which Mr Perry made frequent comments about meeting privately with members of the committee.

“I hope you're as much fun on that dais as your were on your couch,” replied Mr Perry, bringing the committee and members of public and press to laughter.

“Well, I think we found our Saturday Night Live soundbites,” Mr Perry added, prompting a smile from Mr Franken.

After several minutes of serious exchange on climate change, Mr Franken then offered another moment with a self-deprecating remark before yielding his time.