“You know what? I need a break, I’m not gonna lie. I think we all need a little break.”
That’s how Bill Maher kicked off the finale episode to the 15th season of HBO’s Real Time. The Emmy-nominated show is now taking two months off, returning January 19 for more riffs on the chaotic presidency of Donald J. Trump and Fox News’ obsession with sexual harassers—when they’re liberal and not inside their own building.
“So you know, Fox News has not really wanted to talk too much about the sexual harassment when it was Roy Moore, or Donald Trump, or everybody at Fox News. And then Al Franken came along yesterday. Very disturbing. I was so shaken, I called Bill Cosby to see if he had anything to calm me down,” cracked Bill Maher, during his monologue.
Maher, who’s been friends with former comedian Franken for ages, addressed the sexual harassment allegation against the Minnesota senator and prominent Democrat.
“As I’m sure you know by now, when Al [Franken] was on a USO Tour in Iraq in 2006 with Leeann Tweeden, he released a picture where he’s mock-groping her while she’s sleeping—not cool at all—and then he wrote a sketch where they were kissing as a pretext to actually force a kiss on her. This is what she says,” Maher explained.
He continued: “So, Al’s a friend. But Al, I gotta tell you: If you write a comedy sketch where you, Al Franken, kiss a model and the next line of dialogue isn’t, ‘Get off of me, creepy,’ it’s not comedy, it’s science-fiction.”
But then Maher implored his audience—and the public—to not compare what Franken stands accused of to what, say, the Donald Trumps and Roy Moores of the world do.
“[Franken] did a bad thing—and the condemnation has been universal, which he deserves. What he doesn’t deserve is to be lumped in with Roy Moore, or Kevin Spacey, or Harvey Weinstein, or Donald Trump,” said Maher. “Donald Trump calls his accusers ‘liars,’ threatened to sue them, did long riffs at his rallies where he would say that they were too ugly for him to assault. Plus, with Al Franken, we’re talking about one incident. Trump has 16 accusers. Roy Moore has 9. Roy Moore spent more time chatting up young girls at the mall than Santa Claus.”
“So,” he added, “how about another #MeToo campaign, where it’s: I can tell two unlike things apart #MeToo. I know the difference between a man who once acted like a dick and a man who is a dick #MeToo. I know the difference between someone who behaved like a high-schooler and someone who targeted high-schoolers #MeToo.”