Sarah Silverman: Bernie-or-bust Dems 'being ridiculous'
Comic Sarah Silverman joined Sen. Al Franken Monday night to urge Democratic National Convention delegates to unite — then stirred up Bernie Sanders die-hards with some choice words: "To the Bernie or bust people, you're being ridiculous."
As a Sanders supporter herself, Silverman said she would now vote for Hillary Clinton "with gusto" as she continues to be "inspired and moved to action by the ideals set forth by Bernie, who will never stop fighting for us."
She spoke on the convention's opening day just before Paul Simon stood at a microphone and crooned the Simon and Garfunkel classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
Singer Demi Lovato got personal at the podium, touching on her struggle with mental illness and performing her hit "Confident." She broke into song after urging an end to the stigma of those afflicted and calling on politicians to support better access to health care for all.
"This is not politics. It's simply the right thing to do," said the 23-year-old Lovato, in a blush-tone mini-dress. "I stand here today as proof that you can live a normal empowered life with mental illness."
Among the issues Lovato has endured: eating and bipolar disorders. She was bullied as a teen and practiced self-harm while abusing cocaine and other substances.
"Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness. But I am lucky. I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility. Unfortunately, too many Americans from all walks of life don't get help, whether they fear the stigma or cannot afford treatment," she said.
Actress Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives" was also on the slate.
Fans and fashionistas, meanwhile, awaited the dress reveal of first lady Michelle Obama, scheduled to speak later Monday night.
Earlier in the day, Triumph the insulting, cigar-chomping puppet dog joined sweltering street protesters and "Sin City" and "Rent" actress Rosario Dawson urged Bernie Sanders supporters to "listen" to their man.
Actor and activist Danny Glover of the "Lethal Weapon" film franchise addressed the convention's black caucus, describing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a fascist and urging caucus members to "listen to new voices that demand speaking truth to power."
Boyz II Men also performed, while Grammy winner Alicia Keys, who founded a social justice organization called We Are Here, appeared on a panel on criminal justice reform and civil rights, hosted by the news site Politico.
Asked about remarks in the '90s that Hillary Clinton made as first lady about urban gangs with "super-predators" as members — which she later walked back — Keys said: "It's obvious that that was a big mistake. It's a big mistake. If we can admit to our mistakes, that's the beginning, and the question is not only just admitting to the mistake but what are we going to do about it."
Actresses Lena Dunham of "Girls" and America Ferrera, the star of TV's "Ugly Betty," were among notables to attend a bash hosted by Glamour magazine.
But it was Triumph, otherwise known as Robert Smigel, and Dr. Cornel West, the academic and author, who alone among big names joined hundreds of people who marched and protested in sizzling temperatures.
West condemned the Democratic Party, saying it is dominated by corporate interests that must afford populists more respect: "The system needs to be fundamentally changed and transformed."
Glover and actresses Shailene Woodley and Susan Sarandon joined more than 1,000 people for a climate rally, vowing to keep up the fight on environmental issues even though Sanders, their preferred presidential candidate, would not be in charge.
Woodley urged Sanders supporters to remain calm and Sarandon thanked him for "igniting this spark." Dawson, also a Sanders die-hard, was arrested at a "Democracy spring" protest in April at the White House.