rape with jokes

What Is Al Franken Famous For Today? (Hint: It Is ‘Rape Jokes’)

Sen. David Vitter, R- LouisianaThis Al Franken guy, you ever heard of him? Senator from Minnesota. Wrote some books, we think. Used to be on Saturday Night Live for a while, we guess. Not sure, is there anything else he is famous for, Weekly Standard (via, naturally, Drudge)?

Earlier this week, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota joined Vice President Joe Biden for a campaign event in Minnesota.

“Biden got plenty of support from Minnesota Democrats,” PostBulletin.com reports. “Sen. Al Franken praised Obama for pushing the health care law, saying it will help more seniors get help paying for prescriptions and will ensure Medicare’s solvency for an additional eight years.”

But before Franken was a senator he was a writer on the TV show Saturday Night Live. Then, he famously joked about raping CBS reporter Lesley Stahl.

As New York magazine reported in 1995, from a writing session that the reporter sat in on:

Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”

With the national conversation now turning to women’s issues as a result of the bizarre and offensive comments by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin over the weekend, it seems a bit odd that Vice President Biden would take the stage with Franken, considering his own lack of sensitivity to the horrors of rape.

That’ll do, Weekly Standard. That’ll do.

[WeeklyStandard]

About the author

Rebecca is the editor and publisher of Wonkette. She is the author of Commie Girl in the O.C., a collection of her OC Weekly columns, and the former editor of LA CityBeat. Go visit her Commie Girl Collective, and follow her on the Twitter!

View all articles by Rebecca Schoenkopf

Comments

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  • PsycWench

    Weekly Standard's scraping the bottom of the information barrel, I see.

    • http://wonkette.com/ FlownOver

      It's a step up for them to use information art all. Until now they've relied entirely on mythology.

    • TribecaMike

      I hate to see dregs go to waste.

  • http://Wonkette.com MLHencken

    More proof (as if we needed any) that Repulicans are humorless and — apparently — irony proofed.

    • Billmatic

      akin was being ironic too ! it is you that is the real, uh, humorless and also racists.

  • Come here a minute

    Weekly Standard, you're not good enough, you're not smart enough, and gosh darn it, we fucking hate you.

  • http://wonkette.com ChillBill

    Every time a Republican talks about rape it's a fucking joke.

    • sullivanst

      Pun intended?

      • http://wonkette.com ChillBill

        I see what you did there.

  • http://lostintarnation.blogspot.com/ SayItWithWookies

    I'm disappointed that they couldn't work Chappaquiddick into that story somehow.

    • elviouslyqueer

      Oh, damn you, Wooks.

      • http://lostintarnation.blogspot.com/ SayItWithWookies

        Intercepted!

    • http://wonkette.com/ weejee

      Guess floating VW jokes getting too olde.

      • finallyhappy

        nope, saw it in comments defending Akin- basically, "yeah, he said that but you people have Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton"

    • hagajim

      Give 'em time.

  • BigSkullF*ckingDog

    That picture! For the love of god, I just ate lunch!!!

  • IncenseDebate

    Weakly Substandard

    • hagajim

      Weekly Standard Plumbing?

  • http://www.vinoverve.com Maman

    I see the equivalence. Todd Akin is a comedian.

    Not a good one, though. He only has one bad joke that he has been telling for a decade or so.

    • sullivanst

      Is that "I'm a Congressman"? It really isn't funny.

    • Tundra Grifter

      Carrot Top – your move.

    • vodkamuppet

      Women be shoppin'

  • PsycWench

    If we had to go back to an unrecorded "writing session" in 1995 to find something to dig up about Romney, he'd be a happy camper.

    • http://www.vinoverve.com Maman

      Never fear. I hear that Gawker has some post 1999 "writing sessions"
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/bain-doc

      • viennawoods13

        Very nice.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      If he was the fly on the wall at a writing session, I'm surprised he didn't catch on to the fact that the writing sessions are where the good jokes are separated from the dumb, unfunny and unusably crass ones.

      No, wait. The Weekly Standard. I'm not surprised at all.

  • http://www.udargo.com MaxUdargo

    I'm not going to deny the moral equivalence between the current policy positions of a political candidate and some bad jokes thrown about during a coke-fueled brainstorming session in the SNL writers' room in the mid-90s.

    ISSUE NULLIFIED.

    • AbandonHope_

      I was going to say something like that, but I just reminded myself that we're all preaching to the choir here, and the "real Americans" are still going to ignore all of the facts and vote for the insanely rich white sociopath to keep the UN out of their Medicare or whatever-the-fuck.

      And then I get sad.

  • Barb_

    As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.

    • HogeyeGrex

      I don't know. You could get pregnant if you enjoyed it.

      • Barb_

        Good one, Hogey!

    • Fare la Volpe

      Think of England, dear.

      • sewollef

        Often.

    • Katydid

      U talking about Romney's election?

  • Tequila Mockingbird

    Yeah, that Senator Franken is real pro-rape, yessiree!

    All this nonsense about bad jokes Franken made two decades ago, while an SNL writer, was already drudged up in 2008 when he was running against Norm Coleman. Get some new fucking material, Weekly Standard.

    • Oblios_Cap

      That would require them to do "work', which is only for you people. If you can find it.

      It's not the Standards' writers fault that they were born with the right last names. Why do you hate "lucky sperm"?

  • Jus_Wonderin

    I am not up on the terminology, is this a "lateral"?

    • http://wonkette.com/ FlownOver

      Yes, in the same sense the term is used in septic systems.

  • RadioBowels

    Yes, this is exactly the same as the majority of wingfucks believing that rape victims cannot get pregnant because their tubes shut down (or something) and thus abortion should not be allowed even in cases of rape or incest.
    So we're even now. Let's forget the whole thing happened.

    • http://inappropriatejobpostings.blogspot.com/ fuflans

      perfectly succinct. thanks.

  • http://www.udargo.com MaxUdargo

    Besides, what would the 90s have been without Al Franken's rape jokes? For which he was famous.

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      I'm not taking sides until I get guidance from Stuart Smalley

  • Crank_Tango

    See, we are all guilty of loving rape after all. Good to see something bringing this country together for a change.

  • NorthStarSpanx

    Yeah, but. . .Lesley Stahl? Couldn't it have been a nice conservative talking head so that we could manufacture more outrage?

    • littlebigdaddy

      just….not….Ann….Coulter!!!!!!

  • elviouslyqueer

    Because nothing says "relevant" like dredging up a non-story from 17 goddamn years ago.

    Let me guess, this is Franken's "Chappaquiddick"?

  • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

    Halper's problem.

    I think I see it

    • Blueb4sinrise

      Dern. Didn't know who he was. Now I feel sorry for him. Poor thing.

  • PsycWench

    I call bullshit. Those lines are just too unfunny, even for 1995 SNL.

    • http://wonkette.com Lionel[redacted]Esq

      I blame Denis Miller.

      • PsycWench

        Norm MacDonald was possibly worse. We would watch up to "Weekend Update", then turn the TV off.

        • Fare la Volpe

          He's only gotten worse since. Have you seen him in any of the Comedy Central roasts? He gets up to the mic, tells the most painfully unfunny jokes, and the audience is visibly silent. Only the other comedians on the dais laugh, and that's because they're required by contract. He grinds every event to a screeching halt and they. still. keep. booking. him.

          • LibertyLover

            Saw him in person once at a Comedy Club. The jokes he told were painfully gross and unfunny.

          • PsycWench

            The rightwing comic strip "Mallard Fillmore" often referred to him as "The last funny person on SNL". Appropriate since Mallard Fillmore was never once funny. Our local paper dropped it after a year or so and did the wingnuts howl about censorship!

        • Billmatic

          There is no comedian alive worse than Dennis Miller.

  • SorosBot

    We could use more comedians in the Senate; Al is generally one of the best.

    • MissTaken

      It takes a shit ton of smarts to be really funny. Al has both in spades.

      • SorosBot

        Just like a certain girlfriend of mine.

        • MissTaken

          Stop it! :)

    • Billmatic

      Senators Al Franken and Maria Bamford of Minnesota.

  • http://wonkette.com ManchuCandidate

    Wait till they find out he made fun of Rush Limbaugh and called him a Big Fat Idiot.

  • MissTaken

    I wonder how many states Daniel Halper can draw from memory?

  • Lucidamente1

    Then there was that rejected SNL skit about Bill Kristol slipping Midge Decter a roofie.

  • Jus_Wonderin

    Seriously, is this helping Romney. I would bet he wants all this rapey talk to die down before next week. If he was smart, he'd take it across statelines then drop it off in a park near the swingset.

    • OneYieldRegular

      No one is praying for the RNC to be cancelled more than Mittens Romney. He's almost certainly thinking, "Why won't they just let me be President? And now I have to stand up and talk to people, I mean, ICK."

  • mavenmaven

    But bringing up Romney's cruel bullying of a gay student at that time is off-limits because it was so long ago?

    • hagajim

      Double Weekly Standard my friend.

  • http://gratuity.wordpress.com/ Gratuitous World

    his passionate pleas on behalf of subjecting contractors to criminal penalties for raping American citizens overseas was totally lacking in sensitivity. Probably why Sessions + co. fought it so hard.

  • Allmighty_Manos

    Good job keeping on message GOP. I wonder what important issue they will introduce into the campaign next. Exiling HIV positive people? Slavery was ok? Banning Islam? Geez unemployment could freaking double and the Republicans would still manage to find a way to turn the conversation to vindictive bullshit.

    • PsycWench

      True. Remember how in past presidental elections we heard about Robert Byrd once being a KKK member?

  • SnarkOff

    If it's a "legitimate" rape joke, it doesn't count.

  • ahnc

    I think the operative word here is COMEDY.
    Which is obviously above the heads of Weekly Standard.

    • UnholyMoses

      And out of reach of most SNL skits during the 1990s …

      • http://dynamoe.tumblr.com nobodyssweetheart

        Phil Hartman libel!

  • MissTaken

    Rape is rarely funny.

    • anniegetyerfun

      I'd be interested (sincerely, I swear, no snark) to hear your take on this: http://jezebel.com/5925186/how-to-make-a-rape-jok

      I mean, not your take on the fact that I linked to an article on Jezebel, which is a form of rape itself, but as to whether the jokes presented at the bottom of the LONG ASS ARTICLE are actually funny.

    • Tundra Grifter

      You're talking "unicorn rare."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/mrblifil mrblifil

    You know who else enjoyed Fährenbalenz?

  • StarsUponThars

    "Wouldn’t it be funny if Daniel Halper got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now?”

  • Tundra Grifter

    When James O'Keefe tried to lure that woman onto his boat and was going to tie her up and photograph her and all that mess – where was the Weakly Standard?

    • SexySmurf

      I can't speak for everyone who works there, but Bill Kristol was hiding in a closet with his dick in his hand.

      • Tundra Grifter

        Bill "I know there are WDM's there! They are going to find them! I know it!" Kristol?

        Bill "Sarah Palin would make a great Vice President" Kristol?

    • TribecaMike

      In the dinghy?

  • sullivanst

    That’ll do, Weekly Standard. That’ll do.

    Pig libel!

  • Goonemeritus

    “The national conversation now turning to women’s issues as a result of the bizarre and offensive comments by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin over the weekend”
    -The WeeklyStandard- 8/27/12

  • WIDTAP

    Man, Rebecca, I really hate that crotch-first photoshop of Franken. Who put you up to digging that out? Was it Newell?

    • Guppy

      You'd rather she didn't cover up Vitter's face?

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    Who made this rape month?

  • Chichikovovich

    Following the Rush template (and I hope with as little success) the right is trying to spin this as merely an issue of the "words used". Poor Rush got carried away and said "slut" and "whore". Akin said "legitimate rape".

    "People, people, haven't you ever made a mistake like that? Didn't the wrong words slip out? You were speaking to an interfaith gathering and you meant to say "I extend a warm hand of welcome to the followers of Rabbi Schneerson" and instead you said "Juden Raus! Hände Hoch!" I know I have made such mistakes many times. Find a little forgiveness in your heart."

    But it's not the words used, it is the ideas expressed, and that are obviously still believed that are what horrify us. (And it's the ideas that make the Republicans – even those who share the beliefs but have the sense to hide them better – regard Akins as electoral poison).

    But look, let's grant their analogy, and have a long national discussion: which shows more contempt for the needs of rape victims: making a nearly twenty-year old throwaway joke about rape, or promoting legislation that will force the victim to bear the rapist's child against her will?

    I think such a national conversation would be most instructive, and I thank the Weekly Standard for bringing the issue to the fore.

  • anniegetyerfun

    This is an outrage! The joke would have worked much better with Morley Safer.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Especially if you're a Republican.

  • UnholyMoses

    I'm so glad the GOP has taken up this interest in rape in relation to Al Franken!

    This must mean that they will stop being totally disgusting and morally abhorrent assholes and vote for Franken's bill to help women who were raped by contractors in Iraq, correct?

    CORFUCKINGRECT, RIGHT?!?!?

  • http://dismalpseudoscientist.wordpress.com Incitefully_Joe

    Who was that magnificant ape?

    McCain is now banned from politics, right?

  • HogeyeGrex

    Ah. Of course. Making an insensitive joke about rape is exactly the same thing as trying to deny women their rights, up to and including denial of life saving medical procedures, based on a complete ignorance of biology.

    Got it.

    So, Al Franken = FiftyHitlers
    Todd Akin = TruePatriot

    Everything is now clear.

  • http://wonkette.com Lionel[redacted]Esq

    So, if we are going back over old ground, I assume Tucker will have his rag put up something about how Mitt Romney used to torture gays at prep school? Heck, Tucker knows a lot about that.

  • DrunkIrishman

    BUT MOM! AL DID IT TOO!

  • RadioBowels

    And if there is one thing the Republitards know, it's humor. That Dane Cook guy is soooo funny.

    • hagajim

      What about Dennis Miller….oh, right, he isn't funny. But then again, neither is Dane Cook.

  • succalina

    1995? When he was a comedian?
    What about when Fred Grandy former Rep (R-Corn) was on Love Boat and he blew Captain Stubing?

  • ghblowhard

    At least Al admitted it was rape! Did Al Franken write those Buck Henry pedophile Uncle Roy sketches too? If he did shhh don't tell anyone!

    • http://dynamoe.tumblr.com nobodyssweetheart

      That seems more like Michael O'Donoghue's brand of misanthropy

    • shelwood46

      It was Franken's partner, the late Tom Davis.

  • Callyson

    According to AP, Franken did help create a never-aired "Saturday Night Live" sketch about 60 Minutes' Andy Rooney raping fellow correspondent Lesley Stahl.

    http://www.minnpost.com/political-agenda/2008/09/

    Obviously, that's just as bad as openly stating that rape survivors can't get pregnant or that women lie about getting raped so they can get an abortion.

    Asshole.

    • GhostBuggy

      And (hoping to) have the legislative power to make those situations even worse. Why, that's almost exactly like writing a piece of comedic fiction.

  • TribecaMike

    Oh that wacky dead Tom Davis and his posthumous pranks!

  • lulzmonger

    So some lame joke that never made it to air = "legitimate rape" on prime-time?

    Keep rapin' that chicken, Weekly Standard.

  • Hifimikey

    So the Weekly standard is complaining about a joke that never aired?????? Oh for fuck sake….

  • SheriffRoscoe

    Minnesotans should have had this information available to them when Al was running for Senate. Then maybe they could have elected him as long as he promised to give up comedy forever.

  • Hifimikey

    BTW the Weekly Standard Al Franken is "famous" for rape jokes…Well the one joke they refered to never aired.

    How the hell can Al Franken be famous for jokes that nobody ever heard??????

  • bibliotequetress

    So after rummaging around in the dusty corners up their ass, the Weekly Standard pulled out a report of Franken bouncing a crappy joke idea in a writers meeting; an idea that he never, actually, performed or said or that was ever broadcast.

    Well done, Weekly Standard! That certainly is the same as a candidate seriously stating for the record on a national television show that he knows women being "legitimately" raped can prevent the rapists sperm from contacting the ova by "shutting down" something something thus preventing pregnancy super-scientifically!

    (Edited because I got something wrong. See, Fox, that's how it happens)

  • DahBoner

    Uh, the difference is Franken was a writer paid to write stupid things.

    Akin wasn't joking.

    He was stone cold intentionally ignorant…

  • http://twitter.com/iburl iburl

    Comedians write jokes, lawmakers write laws.

    Anybody spot the difference?

  • http://dynamoe.tumblr.com nobodyssweetheart

    Remember the first Comedy Central coverage of the Republican Convention that Al Franken hosted? 1992, maybe? Man, that was funny….

    I don't remember any rape jokes. I remember Norman Ornstein in a dress acting out Marilyn Quayle's romance novel.

  • Exhausted66

    I missed the part where Al Franken tried to write Leslie Stahl rape INTO FUCKING LAW!

  • Typodong3

    I WISH Al Franken would get back to writing comedy and opinion, his books were fantastic.

  • http://howtosavetheworld.ca/ BZ1

    what standard is that again?

  • tessiee

    So, Akin has been shitting off at the mouth about rape, in complete seriousness, for the past week or so, right up until like 10:30 this morning, and his fellow wingnuts have declined to say that's anything but proof of what a moral, sex-hating guy he is…
    But the REAL problem is that Al Franken made a rape joke 17 years ago.

  • dcjdjay

    Yeah, because sarcasm and irony and dark humor are the same things as legislation and policy.

    • http://twitter.com/iburl iburl

      Welcome to Wonkette.

  • CogitoErgoSumo

    You CAN joke about rape. I'll prove it to you. Imagine Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd"

    George Carlin

  • ttommyunger

    Way to keep this subject on the front burner, dickwads. Keep up the good work, heh, heh.

  • http://www.gurukalehuru.wordpress.com gurukalehuru

    How is it the Weekly Standard has access to old SNL writer's meeting transcripts, and nobody's managed to dig up Mitt Romney's actual tax returns, so that we can laugh at them?
    Get to work, slacker left wing journos!