In 1993, in her first year on Saturday Night Live, comedian Sarah Silverman stabbed Al Franken with a pencil. She had been trying to stick it in his hair to be funny. Instead she managed to get the brunt of his temple.
Naturally, the two became fast friends.
Silverman recently told GQ that they still are. Which is complicated, because the former SNL star turned former Senator resigned earlier this year in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations from several women.
Silverman has worked comedically alongside Franken for years, and she’s “sad that he got bullied into resigning.” He loved representing Minnesota, she said, and it was a shame to lose him. She’d “never met a more pure person.”
“This is a guy whose passion was serving people and making the world a better place. There’s a lot of baby-in-bathwater stuff, I think.”
Silverman said that she talked with Franken after he resigned. He and his wife Franni were “devastated.”
She gets that maybe she doesn’t have the clearest view of the situation, but she believes “in her heart of hearts” that he never copped a feel, as all those women claimed. She’s seen the infamous Leeann Tweeden sketch online -- the one where Franken allegedly groped Tweeden in rehearsal for an onstage kiss. It’s “not funny,” Silverman said, but it’s “innocuous.”
“He may have touched some sideboob by accident, or a tush by accident, but I’m telling you, Franni is his best friend and constant companion, and he has eyes for no one else,” she says.
Franken has kissed her on the lips before, she said, but there was “nothing sexual about it.”
“He’s a Jewish grandpa,” she said. “He gives you big, Jewish, wet-lipped kisses.”
Commenting on the #MeToo movement, Silverman called us all “complicit in this fucked-up society,” and said the only difference was that men got to benefit from it and women didn’t.
“Women are so keenly aware of the male experience because our entire existence had to be kind of through that lens. Whereas men have never had to understand the female experience in order to exist in the world.”