Al Franken Has Long History of Sexual Misconduct Jokes Before Accusation of Groping Woman's Breasts

Senator Al Franken attends the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee hearing in the Capitol building on July 19. Franken faces accusations that he engaged in sexual misconduct during a USO trip in 2006. Getty Images/Joe Readle

Senator Al Franken's past jokes about rape and other forms of inappropriate sexual conduct resurfaced Thursday after a radio anchor accused him of forcefully kissing her during a rehearsal and of groping her breasts while she slept on a flight from Afghanistan following a USO tour in December 2006.

Franken rose to fame as a comedian and writer for NBC's Saturday Night Live, and some of his quips and performances were touchy subjects well before he ran as a Democrat to represent Minnesota in the Senate.

Franken once joked about child rape during a comedic roast of film director Rob Reiner. Franken laid out a scene where Reiner's father, Carl, would invite famous friends over to rape his son.

"On a typical night, Carl would slip into Rob's bed, roll him over, swab him down and say something like, 'I'm thinking about hiring Morey Amsterdam to play Buddy Sorrell, what do you think?'" Franken said. "Well, the success of The Dick Van Dyke Show changed things dramatically. Carl started inviting many of his famous friends to fuck his son. That list includes some of the greats in comedy: Paul Lynde, Dom DeLuise, Rip Taylor, Danny Kaye, Charles Nelson Reilly and Rock Hudson—whom I frankly don't think is that funny."

Franken also brought up rape in a 1995 New York magazine article and detailed three-way sex with robots in a 2000 Playboy article, during which he also discussed a well-known 60 Minutes reporter.

"And, 'I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley's passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her,'" Franken said. "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.'"

The Playboy article was titled "Porn-O-Rama!" and in it Franken discusses creating an Institute for Pornographic Studies where he performed sex acts with humans and robots.

"I found myself extremely attracted to the vulnerable side of this sexy scientist, and when I offered to comfort her, she accepted, kissing me full on the lips and inserting her tongue into my mouth and moving it around suggestively," Franken wrote. "Then she reached down and started rubbing my crotch and within just five or ten minutes, my cock was again hard and ready for action."

Franken was also quoted at a Feminist Majority Foundation event in 1999 that was aimed at helping Afghani women: "Why don't we focus on what Afghan women can do? They can cook, bear children and pray. As I recall, that was fine for our grandmothers."

Franken has responded to radio anchor Leeann Tweeden's accusations about the USO trip, apologizing for a photo that appears to show him grabbing her breasts while she slept.

"I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann," Franken said in a statement to NBC Los Angeles. "As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it."