A jokester turned serious political candidate is attracting a lot of comparisons to a Joker turned serial criminal. Turns out we weren't the only one to notice Al Franken overtones in Heath Ledger's bravura performance in "The Dark Knight."

The Internet has been abuzz with the likeness, which began with movie reviews. Ledger "seems, actually, to be channeling Al Franken," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle on July 17, more than $410 million ago.

New York Magazine's David Edelstein found an analogy to one of Franken's characters: "First he sounds like [James] Cagney in 'White Heat,' then slides into a prissy singsong like Al Franken's Stuart Smalley."

When we contacted the Franken campaign, spokesman Andy Barr said, "I doubt we'll have anything to say about that."

So we'll let the candidate -- and the character -- speak for themselves. Here are six quotes; guess which ones were uttered by Franken and which by Ledger's Joker:

1. "And I thought my jokes were bad. ... "

2. "What doesn't kill you can have lingering after-effects."

3. "Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from."

4. "Do I look like a guy with a plan?"

5. "See, I'm not a monster. ... I'm just ahead of the curve."

6. "When you encounter seemingly good advice that contradicts other seemingly good advice, ignore them both."

Bill Ward • 612-673-7643

ANSWERS: Joker -- 1, 4, 5 | Franken -- 2, 3, 6