Al Franken was going to be on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher back in June to promote his book, Giant of the Senate.
Then Maher, speaking to another U.S. Senator (Ben Sasse, GOP-Nebraska) uttered a racial epithet on live TV which landed with enough fallout to remind you why they call it an "n-bomb." Franken canceled his appearance, while Maher apologized, and tried learning his lesson from Ice Cube.
A couple months later, Franken evidently feels Maher paid enough public penance for his mistake, and joined the HBO provocateur Friday night to talk about Donald Trump, life in the U.S. Senate, and diaper fetishes. (Um, not Al's, somebody else's!)
Maher asked Franken why Republican senators had finally come around to criticizing Donald Trump only after the president repeatedly stuck up for right-wing neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"Exactly," Franken said. "What took them so long? I've known, uh, for weeks that Trump is a terrible president."
To that point, Franken doesn't expect to see much change coming out of the White House -- "the problem with this administration is Trump, and it's going to continue" -- and isn't convinced other Republicans will abandon their glowing orange guiding light, considering 80 percent of the GOP "base" still supports the president.
Franken did sound an optimistic note about his ability to work across the aisle with Republicans, citing a past accomplishment on railroad regulations with the help of Louisiana GOP U.S. Sen. David Vitter.
"The diaper guy?" Maher interrupted, asking about Vitter's prostitution scandal.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Franken confirmed, pausing before he added: "And that didn't figure into this legislation at all."
Watch Franken's full 10-minute interview below, including Maher's sign-off, where he encourages Al to join California Democrat Gavin Newsom on a presidential ticket in 2020. Though Franken has said he's not interested in making a run for the White House, Maher's audience sure seemed to like the sound of it.