RAPE WITH JOKES  3:04 pm August 23, 2012

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

by Rebecca Schoenkopf

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]

 
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{ 122 comments }

PsycWench August 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

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

FlownOver August 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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

TribecaMike August 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I hate to see dregs go to waste.

MLHencken August 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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

Billmatic August 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm

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

Come here a minute August 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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

ChillBill August 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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

sullivanst August 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Pun intended?

ChillBill August 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I see what you did there.

SayItWithWookies August 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm

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

elviouslyqueer August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Oh, damn you, Wooks.

SayItWithWookies August 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Intercepted!

weejee August 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Guess floating VW jokes getting too olde.

finallyhappy August 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm

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

hagajim August 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Give 'em time.

BigSkullF*ckingDog August 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm

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

IncenseDebate August 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Weakly Substandard

hagajim August 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Weekly Standard Plumbing?

Maman August 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

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

Tundra Grifter August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Carrot Top – your move.

vodkamuppet August 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Women be shoppin'

PsycWench August 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

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.

Maman August 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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

viennawoods13 August 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Very nice.

Lascauxcaveman August 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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.

MaxUdargo August 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

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_ August 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

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_ August 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

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

HogeyeGrex August 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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

Barb_ August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Good one, Hogey!

Fare la Volpe August 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Think of England, dear.

sewollef August 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Often.

Katydid August 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm

U talking about Romney's election?

Tequila Mockingbird August 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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

FlownOver August 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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

RadioBowels August 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

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.

fuflans August 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

perfectly succinct. thanks.

MaxUdargo August 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

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

actor212 August 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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

Crank_Tango August 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

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

NorthStarSpanx August 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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

littlebigdaddy August 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

just….not….Ann….Coulter!!!!!!

elviouslyqueer August 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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

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

actor212 August 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Halper's problem.

I think I see it

Blueb4sinrise August 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

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

PsycWench August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

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

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I blame Denis Miller.

PsycWench August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

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

Fare la Volpe August 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

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

Billmatic August 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm

There is no comedian alive worse than Dennis Miller.

SorosBot August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

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

MissTaken August 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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

SorosBot August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Just like a certain girlfriend of mine.

MissTaken August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Stop it! :)

Billmatic August 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Senators Al Franken and Maria Bamford of Minnesota.

ManchuCandidate August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

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

MissTaken August 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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

Lucidamente1 August 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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

Jus_Wonderin August 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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

hagajim August 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Double Weekly Standard my friend.

Gratuitous World August 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

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

SnarkOff August 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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

ahnc August 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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

UnholyMoses August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

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

nobodyssweetheart August 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Phil Hartman libel!

MissTaken August 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Rape is rarely funny.

anniegetyerfun August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

You're talking "unicorn rare."

mrblifil August 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm

You know who else enjoyed Fährenbalenz?

StarsUponThars August 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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

Tundra Grifter August 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

In the dinghy?

sullivanst August 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

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

Pig libel!

Goonemeritus August 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

“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 August 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

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

Guppy August 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm

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

Monsieur_Grumpe August 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Who made this rape month?

Chichikovovich August 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

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

Oblios_Cap August 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Especially if you're a Republican.

UnholyMoses August 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

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?!?!?

Incitefully_Joe August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Who was that magnificant ape?

McCain is now banned from politics, right?

HogeyeGrex August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

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.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

BUT MOM! AL DID IT TOO!

RadioBowels August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

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

hagajim August 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm

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

succalina August 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

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!

nobodyssweetheart August 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm

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

shelwood46 August 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

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

Callyson August 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Oh that wacky dead Tom Davis and his posthumous pranks!

lulzmonger August 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

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

Keep rapin' that chicken, Weekly Standard.

Hifimikey August 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

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

SheriffRoscoe August 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

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

Akin wasn't joking.

He was stone cold intentionally ignorant…

iburl August 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Comedians write jokes, lawmakers write laws.

Anybody spot the difference?

nobodyssweetheart August 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm

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

Typodong3 August 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

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

BZ1 August 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm

what standard is that again?

tessiee August 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

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 August 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm

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

iburl August 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Welcome to Wonkette.

CogitoErgoSumo August 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

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

George Carlin

ttommyunger August 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm

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

gurukalehuru August 24, 2012 at 3:50 am

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!

PsycWench August 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

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!

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