Al Franken Cut Out of David Letterman Mark Twain Prize PBS Broadcast

When PBS airs last month's Mark Twain Prize ceremony honoring David Letterman Monday night, one presenter will be conspicuously missing: Sen. Al Franken. According to a statement from PBS, Franken “participated in the event, but will not appear substantially in the PBS program” because the station “felt that the inclusion of Senator Franken in the broadcast at this time would distract from the show’s purpose as a celebration of American humor.” Since the event was taped last month, Franken has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women. According to reports from the ceremony, Franken joked about his longtime friend Letterman's wide range of interests, from silly segments like his Late Show “monkey cam” to the more thoughtful series the two men produced together about climate change this past year. On the red carpet for the Mark Twain event, Franken said that Letterman, who had his own workplace sex scandal in 2009, “would make a very good senator.”

—Matt Wilstein