Al FrankenLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 9/27/18 at 1:43PM EDT
Is SNL's famous 1991 Clarence Thomas hearing sketch problematic in the #MeToo era?
Source: The Washington Post
The October 1991 sketch featuring Tim Meadows as the future U.S. Supreme Court nominee and Ellen Cleghorne as Anita Hill still resonates today because Saturday Night Live addressed the sexual harassment issue head-on, says Travis M. Andrews. It might even serve as a guide for SNL when it tackles the Brett Kavanaugh hearing on the Season 44 premiere on Saturday. But the sketch can also be seen as problematic because the sketch “reduces the whole issue to gags about sex,” as Allison Yarrow wrote in a Washington Post article about the sketch, which featured Al Franken, when Franken was going through his sexual misconduct scandal last year. Longtime SNL writer Jack Handey, who conceived of the sketch, tells Andrews that the sketch “was one of those rare occasions when the idea just hits you like a bolt from the blue," adding "to my mind, good political humor proceeds first from a funny idea, not from the editorial point you want to make. If the silliness makes a point, that’s fine, but secondary.”
Posted Wednesday 5/23/18 at 2:17PM EDT
Sarah Silverman defends Al Franken, says of Louis CK: "I don't see any reason why they can't continue being artists"
"All I can say is, and he may not be excited about this, but he has no sexuality," Silverman says of Franken in a GQ profile. "I believe in my heart of heart of hearts he never copped a feel." As for Louis CK and whether he should be allowed to make a comeback, she says: “I think that there are people who were caught and there were people who were not caught, but the important thing is that they are forever changed. And if that's the case, I don't see any reason why they can't continue being artists. Now, whether they're popular artists or not is up to the audience. I have compassion. There are people that just deny everything they're accused of and they continue to be the politicians or the filmmakers that they are. And there are people that come and say, I'm guilty of these things, and I'm wrong, and I want to be changed from this. And yet those are the ones that kind of are excommunicated forever. He's my brother, so it's hard. I may not have a very clear perspective on it, but I'm trying to.” Silverman also spoke about Aziz Ansari, saying of her reaction to his sexual misconduct scandal: “I was just like, Gross, I don't wanna know that about Aziz! Hopefully he's dealing with things, looking inward, and will blossom from it.”
Posted Tuesday 1/09/18 at 6:45PM EST
TV Tattle Exclusive
Previously shrouded in secrecy, Netflix has announced both a title and guest list for David Letterman's new interview series. Missing from Netflix's announcement, however, was any mention of the segment Letterman shot in October with then-Senator Al Franken. More...
Posted Thursday 1/04/18 at 2:08PM EST
Bill Maher mocks Al Franken’s groping photo with a sleeping Bob Saget
Source: New York Daily News
"These New Years Hawaii trips are getting weird — Saget, forgive me!" the HBO host posted on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of him pretending to grope a sleeping Saget on a private plane.
Posted Friday 12/22/17 at 2:05PM EST
TV Tattle Exclusive
With audience members being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements and to leave their phones at the studio door, David Letterman's still-untitled Netflix series is shrouded in secrecy. With an assist from local press reports and twitter sightings, here's what we know so far. More...
# TOPICS: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Netflix, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Show with David Letterman, Abdirahman Kahin, Al Franken, Barack Obama, David Letterman, George Clooney, Howard Stern, Ilhan Omar, John Lewis, Malala Yousafzai, Moussa Doualeh, The Howard Stern Show
Posted Monday 12/11/17 at 11:19PM EST
Kevin Nealon on SNL co-star Al Franken: “Unfortunately, Al became a sacrificial lamb to the Democratic Party and he had to step down”
The Man with a Plan star says of the disgraced U.S. senator, whom he first met when he joined Saturday Night Live in 1986: “You know what? What he did was juvenile. Of course it was juvenile. He’s a comic at heart. That doesn’t make it right, but in no way does it compare to what Roy Moore and Donald Trump have done (per) some of the allegations.”
Posted Monday 12/11/17 at 9:04AM EST
SNL mostly dodged ex-writer Al Franken in an episode that focused on sexual harassment
Only "Weekend Update" seemed to really go after the senator following his resignation announcement. “SNL’s longstanding association with Franken meant that its jokes at the Democrats’ expense felt a bit more pointed than typical,” writes Aja Romano. “The section was notable for its subtly abrasive tone in the middle of a lackluster evening where many jokes didn’t quite land, and where most of the sexual harassment jokes were more tired than on point.” ALSO: The optics of the “Sexual Harassment Charlie” sketch were particularly awful.
Posted Friday 12/08/17 at 1:38PM EST
Late-night hosts take on Al Franken’s resignation
Source: Los Angeles Times
Seth Meyers addressed the latest allegation that the Minnesota senator inappropriately touched a Democratic congressional staffer this way: “Not only can you not do that to a woman you barely know, you can’t do that to your wife.” Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon used his Trump impression to tackle his fellow former SNL alum.
Posted Thursday 12/07/17 at 1:12PM EST
Al Franken announces his resignation from the U.S. Senate
Source: The Washington Post
“Some of the allegations against me simply are not true, others I remember very differently,” the SNL alum said on the senate floor this morning, striking a defiant tone. “But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota,” he added. “It’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the Ethics Committee process and at the same time, remain an effective senator for them.” ALSO: Franken admitted no guilt and offered no apology.
Posted Thursday 12/07/17 at 4:46AM EST
Stephen Colbert thinks Al Franken is finished
Source: The Daily Beast
The latest misconduct allegation, says The Late Show host, is “the straw that groped the camel’s back.”
Posted Wednesday 12/06/17 at 2:18PM EST
Al Franken to make an announcement Thursday following the emergence of another accuser
Source: The Hill
Posted Sunday 12/03/17 at 12:46PM EST
SNL briefly touched on Matt Lauer’s firing
Source: The New York Times
The former Today anchor is the third person with a connection to Saturday Night Live to be accused of sexual harassment, following Louis CK (host of last season’s finale) and Al Franken. According to IMDb, Lauer has made two SNL cameos and co-hosted the 2015 Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Red Carpet Special. In addition, Lauer has played himself on five episodes of the Lorne Michaels-produced 30 Rock. Lauer’s firing was alluded to in the cold open which featured a visit from the ghost of “Billy Bush.” On "Weekend Update," Colin Jost and Michael Che each got in a joke at Lauer’s expense, one mentioning Ann Curry and the other referencing Lauer’s alleged sex toy. ALSO: Why SNL’s “Welcome to Hell” sexual harassment music video was so surprising.
Posted Thursday 11/30/17 at 1:38PM EST
A U.S. army veteran accuses Al Franken of groping her during his 2003 USO tour
Stephanie Kemplin, 41, has become the fifth woman to accuse the U.S. senator of inappropriate touching. The first accusation against Franken, by broadcaster Leeann Tweeden, also took place during a USO tour, three years later in 2006. Asked to respond, Franken's spokesperson said: ""As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. He remains fully committed to cooperating with the ethics investigation." ALSO: A conservative street artist has put Franken groping up on a billboard.
Posted Monday 11/27/17 at 2:38PM EST
Al Franken says “I am embarrassed. I feel ashamed” in his return to the U.S. Senate
The Saturday Night Live alum-turned-U.S. senator spoke to the media Sunday for the first time since his sexual harassment scandal broke. “This has been a shock, and extremely humbling,” he said, adding: “If you had asked me two weeks ago, would any women come forward with allegations like this, I would have said no.”
Posted Tuesday 11/21/17 at 9:19PM EST
Would David Letterman have survived his 2009 sex scandal in 2017?
Source: The Cut
PBS’ decision to cut Al Franken out of PBS’ Mark Twain Prize ceremony celebrating Letterman is, says Anna Silman, “a particularly striking of example of just how selective our cultural memory is when it comes to deciding which men are Bad.” As she notes, “while there were no public allegations of sexual harassment made at the time, it’s hard to imagine that a man of Letterman’s influence engaging in affairs with multiple female staffers didn’t involve a fraught and possibly exploitative power dynamic.”