Stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman ran aground during her bid for party unity at the Democratic National Convention on Monday after going off script to admonish hard-line supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Silverman, who was a frequent surrogate for Sanders’ campaign on the trail, said she would “proudly” and “with gusto” vote for Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. But after fellow comedian Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) joined her on stage, things took an awkward turn.
After repeated cheers of “Bernie” from the crowd, which Silverman tried to re-tool into chants of “unity,” the comedian seemed to make her mind up to go off script.
“Can I just say, to the ‘Bernie or bust’ people, you’re being ridiculous,” she said.
Chants of “Bernie” soon overtook any lingering cheers that were audible in the broadcast.
After a couple beats of silence as the chants continued, Franken recovered to joke, “Listen to that. This is what you did. This is a comedian. This is the power of comedy.”
“Thank God they can fix this in post,” Silverman said half-jokingly as the chants continued.
The awkward exchange appeared to stem from some production issues, with Silverman noting she was ad-libbing after her speech was cut short. But she said she and Franken had been told to “stretch” their on-stage material before musician Paul Simon took the stage. Both comedians repeatedly looked off stage to see how the set-up was going.
“What I love about us being here, it’s like we’re a bridge,” Franken tried as the time dragged on.
“How do you figure that, Al? How do you figure that we’re a bridge?” Silverman dead-panned.
“Well, you were for Bernie, I’m for Hillary, so we are like a bridge, a bridge over troubled –” he replied.
“Oh good Lord,” Silverman cut in.
Watch the exchange via the Los Angeles Times:
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 26, 2016