Stephen Colbert is not happy about the sexual-misconduct allegation against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
“Brace yourself,” the Late Show host told his audience before delivering the news. “Come on, Franken! I guess there are no good people left so let’s just get it over with. Just tell us whatever you did, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Malala.”
That response mirrored the one Colbert gave after former President George H.W. Bush was accused last month of groping women. “Oh come on, not him. He’s the Bush we like!” the host joked at the time.
“As a fellow comedian, I’ve long admired Al Franken, but I’ve got to say, this does not bode well for Louis C.K.’s Senate hopes,” Colbert joked, before telling viewers to “strap in” for the disturbing details. “While touring with the USO in 2006, Franken wrote a sketch where he got to kiss the female emcee Leeann Tweeden. According to Tweeden, during rehearsal he came at her, put his hand on the back of her head, mashed his lips against hers, and aggressively stuck his tongue in her mouth.”
“Now for those of you not in showbiz, actors call that technique sexual harassment,” Colbert added.
As for the “goofy” photo of Franken grabbing Tweeden’s breasts while she was sleeping on the flight home, he added, “Oh boy, this is… admissible evidence.”
Before issuing a longer apology to Tweeden, Franken put out an initial statement in which he said of the photo, “it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t.”
‘No, your movie Stuart Saves His Family was intended to be funny but wasn’t,” Colbert replied. “That photo was intended to embarrass her. That’s why he did it while she was asleep. Nobody goes up to their buddy when he is awake and says, ‘Hey, can I draw a penis on your forehead?’”
In his longer statement, Franken agreed to participate in an ethics probe into his behavior. “Well, that’s nice,” Colbert said. “It would be wrong if an ethics investigation was done without his consent.”