The first night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention witnessed inspirational speeches from First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, and presidential candidate and independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders from Vermont.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken, a longtime former writer/performer for Saturday Night Live, and comedian Sarah Silverman delivered a 1-2 punch of mostly serious lines in hopes of persuading the delegates and viewers to set aside their differences if they supported Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton, and to get to work defeating Donald Trump. They played to a rowdy crowd in the arena in Philadelphia, where sporadic chants of “Bernie” almost but didn’t quite rattle Franken and Silverman.
Except at the end, when Silverman said the DNC told her to “stretch” and fill time, so she announced to the delegates: “Can I just say, to the Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous.”
Franken called himself a “Minnesotan, senator and world-renowned expert on right-wing megalomaniacs. Rush Limbaugh. Bill O’Reilly. And now Donald Trump.” Franken went on to claim he’d earned “my doctorate in megalomania studies from Trump University,” joking about how much money Trump and his cronies had bilked from him to get that degree. He followed that with a backhanded compliment, calling Trump U. second only to Bernie Madoff University. A cardboard cutout of Trump himself teaches Bankruptcy 101, Franken quipped.
He also invoked the name of the late U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Paul Wellstone, and reminded us that Franken had won his first U.S. Senate election by only 312 votes. So every volunteer and campaign worker can make a difference.
Silverman said she wished that everyone could enjoy the same opportunities in life, and referenced Clinton’s old phrase from the 1990s that she turned into a book: “It takes a village.” Silverman had supported Sanders during the primaries and even introduced him at a campaign rally in Los Angeles.
But she wanted to let us all know she’d proudly vote for Clinton now. “I will vote for Hillary with gusto.” She said Clinton had adopted much of Bernie’s ideas and incorporated them into the Democratic platform. She and the Democrats were unlike the name-calling and mud-slinging seen from the Republican presidential candidates. “That stuff is for third-graders. C’mon. That’s like major arrested development stuff. That’s I’m-still-emotionally-4-and-calling-people-names-from-my-gold-encrusted-sandbox-because-I-was-given-money-instead-of-human-touch-or-coping-tools stuff. But I digress.”
Speaking of digression, Silverman also threw in a baba booey and a booyah at the end for good measure.