Al Franken Helped With New Chris Rock Script (Exclusive)

Franken helped punch up a script Rock wrote, along with other writers

Last Updated: July 29, 2019 @ 12:56 PM

Al Franken worked with former “Saturday Night Live” colleague Chris Rock to help punch up a new script that Rock wrote, the former senator told TheWrap on Monday.

Franken, the subject of a recent New Yorker profile that cast doubt on the sexual harassment accusations that led to his resignation from the U.S. Senate in December 2017, described his involvement during a short phone call on Monday.

“We did what was called a table read and it was a lot of fun. Like eight comedy writers, kind of talking about and punching up a script that he and a couple of other guys wrote,” Franken said.

Asked if he was interested in a return to the entertainment industry, Franken said he had to cut the conversation short: “I’m in a studio now doing a podcast.”

It is common for Hollywood scripts to go through a punch-up process with joke writers who are sometimes uncredited.

Franken declined to name the project that he worked on with Rock. Representatives for Rock also declined to name the project, but said it was not Rock’s upcoming “Saw” reboot.

Word of Franken’s involvement with the Rock project came out last week, when “Chappelle’s Show” co-creator Neal Brennan said on his podcast, “How Neal Feel,” that he had been one of the writers who joined Rock, Franken and others in the small writer’s room. On the podcast, Brennan offered a strong defense of Franken, saying he felt that he had been railroaded into resigning when he was accused of harassment.

Brennan reminded listeners that Franken was the lead writer on “SNL” when Rock joined the show in 1990. He said Rock appeared to hold Franken in the highest respect.

“Franken was like an ‘SNL’ legend,” Brennan said. “Chris is Chris, but Franken is capital Al capital Franken to Chris because when Chris first met him, Chris was a first-time, first year on ‘SNL,’ young comic. So he’s like, f—in’ Al Franken.  

Brennan said Franken still seemed shocked at the turn of events that led to his resignation.

“He’s just really funny, really smart, and uh, he’s… it seemed like he couldn’t believe it. The situation he was in,” Brennan said.

You can watch video of the “How Neal Feel” episode below.