Sarah Silverman says Al Franken was 'bullied' into resigning

The comedian is a long-time friend of Minnesota's former senator.
Publish date:

Al Franken's friend and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Sarah Silverman came to the former Minnesota senator's defense in an interview with GQ.

The comedian was asked about Franken's resignation after allegations that he'd touched the butt of several women as he posed for photos with them.

Along with a picture showing Franken pretend to grope radio host Leann Tweeden – with Tweeden also claiming he forced a kiss on her – these allegations were enough to prompt Franken's resignation in December.

Franken has said some allegations "are simply not true, others I remember very differently" and he'd intended to await the results of a Senate ethics committee investigation before making a decision. He resigned, however, after more than 20 of his fellow Democratic senators called for him to step down.

His resignation didn't sit well with Silverman, who has known Franken since meeting him on SNL in 1993.

"I'm so sad that he got bullied into resigning, because all he loved in this world was being a senator and representing the people of Minnesota," she told GQ. "I've never met a more pure person."

Today's Top Stories

– The great beer delivery strike is over.

– After damaging storms Thursday, more possible Friday.

– NEW: Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard.

While admitting her own bias as she's friends with him, she described Franken as having "no sexuality," and that she believes "in my heart of heart of hearts he never copped a feel."

"On the show, you saw him kiss me on the lips. There is nothing sexual about it. He's a Jewish grandpa. He gives you big, Jewish, wet-lipped kisses," she said.

"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."

She says the Tweeden sketch was "not funny," but "innocuous," and adds that the reason she believes of his overall innocence is because of his devotion to his wife, Franni.

"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," Silverman said, describing the pair as "devastated" over what happened.

Next Up

protest, chauvin, george floyd

Walz: Demobilization of troops, police to happen 'as quickly as possible'

It's unclear just when troops and police will pull out of the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 5.33.13 PM

'The first step towards justice': AG Ellison calls for change after Chauvin conviction

Ellison's office led the prosecution of the former Minneapolis police officer.


Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in George Floyd's death

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 4.13.07 PM

LIVE UPDATES: Reaction as Derek Chauvin is found guilty on all counts

We bring you the latest reaction after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

Derek Chauvin

Watch live: Verdict in Derek Chauvin murder trial

The verdict will be announced between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 20.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Verdict reached in Derek Chauvin murder trial

A verdict will be read Tuesday afternoon.

logan olson gofundme

18-month-old boy who nearly drowned welcomed home with police escort

Logan Olson was found in a retention pond in Stewartville on April 7.

covid, vaccine

Is Minnesota's latest surge plateauing? Expert says 'no idea'

Hospital admissions have leveled off in the past week, though ICU cases have risen.


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand defends role in Al Franken's resignation

She was the first Democratic senator to call on Franken to resign.

Is Al Franken done with Minnesota politics? Maybe not.

The former Minnesota senator hasn't ruled it out.

Al Franken announces his resignation as Minnesota senator

It follows allegations of inappropriate conduct from multiple women.

What Sen. Al Franken didn't say in his resignation speech

We've all seen what the senator said – but what did he leave out?

Watch Sen. Al Franken's resignation speech

Franken delivered his remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Late night hosts have their say on Al Franken's resignation from the U.S. Senate

Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon mentioned the Minnesota senator's resignation.

Are voters changing their minds on whether they think Al Franken should resign?

A new poll of Minnesota voters found them split on whether the senator should step down.

Al Franken making a comeback as paid public speaker

The former senator is now available for hire.