Bill MaherLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 11:36PM EDT
Stand-up comedy is evolving away from straight white men: Bill Maher is the past, and Hannah Gadsby represents its future
Gadsby's much buzzed-about Netflix special Nanette stands in stark contrast to Maher's recent HBO special Live from Oklahoma, says Matt Zoller Seitz. "The cultural tendencies and patriarchal tactics that Gadsby tears apart and then offers up for our inspection are presented without irony or comment in Maher’s Live From Oklahoma," he says. "Maher’s special is listless, comedy-flavored grumbling — an hour of the same formless, theoretically liberal but sounds libertarian posturing that fills up Real Time With Bill Maher. The gap between Gadsby’s vision and execution and Maher’s is vast. Imagine George Carlin’s career-redefining and still scathing What Am I Doing in New Jersey? on one side of a canyon, and on the other, a man in a suit yelling into his iPhone about political correctness while waiting on line at Whole Foods." Gadsby's Nanette almost directly criticizes Maher and other comedians of his ilk, "men who worked for decades to acquire the platforms they now possess, yet seem to take them for granted and are rarely caught pondering politics except as it relates to their ability to get the primo bookings they believe they’re entitled to," says Seitz. Older, established comedians like Maher, Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais, Larry David and Dave Chappelle "often natter on about 'political correctness' and the endangerment of 'free speech,' which in their case translates as the right to say whatever they want and never be criticized. In their minds, being called out constitutes a horrendous infringement on artistic freedom." At worst, he says, "they’re regurgitating old styles and points of view and sounding culturally as well as artistically conservative in the process. They’re coming at comedy from a defensive, even beleaguered position." But in actuality, complaints about "political correctness" are a fear that the status quo is changing. "No one, and I mean no one, is saying that straight guys, white or otherwise, shouldn’t have a place in comedy anymore," says Seitz. "Only that — like the brilliant (John) Mulaney, who has described himself on many occasions as the whitest man alive — in the future, they’ll have to take more risks and work harder to earn a spot that might’ve been more easily obtainable 20 or 30 years ago, when the sight of a woman or a person of color onstage was more of an anomaly. They’ll also have to listen, or at least pretend to listen, when somebody calls them out on their subject matter, their joke writing, or their political opinions. They’ll have to refrain from trying to short circuit debate by claiming that the other person is too sensitive or 'can’t take a joke' or is somehow endangering their free speech. And they’ll have to make peace with the fact that, if they’re able to claim a spot of prime cultural real estate, they’ll be expected to constantly defend it as they age, by becoming better at the art and craft than anyone who dares to accuse them of sucking up cultural oxygen that should be nourishing them instead. This might sound daunting. Maybe it is, if you’re Maher. But it’s ultimately no more unfair than expecting white athletes to work harder to claim a spot on professional teams after their sports were integrated." ALSO: Gadsby showed how stand-up comedy is broken, especially when it comes to humor in comedy.
Posted Thursday 7/12/18 at 12:16PM EDT
Netflix ends HBO's 17-year streak of Emmy nomination dominance, Game of Thrones tops all shows
This is the first time in 18 years that HBO has failed to lead all nominations, with Netflix earning 112 Emmy nominations to HBO's 108. The streaming service has been gradually growing with 34 nominations in 2015, 54 in 2016 and 91 last year. Game of Thrones led all shows with 22 Emmy nominations. Saturday Night Live and Westworld tied for second with 21 nominations each, followed by The Handmaid's Tale (20), The Assassination of Gianni Versace (18) and Atlanta (16). Game of Thrones, which wasn't eligible last year, will battle it out with last year's winner, The Handmaid's Tale. Meanwhile, the best actress in a comedy series will be up for grabs for the first time since 2011 since Julia Louis-Dreyfus wasn't eligible as Veep was on hiatus. Black-ish's Tracee Ellis-Ross, Insecure's Issa Rae and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Rachel Brosnahan are among the contenders in the best comedy actress category.
- Read the complete list of Emmy nominations
- Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers were snubbed, while Stephen Colbert and James Corden were nominated (The Tonight Show wasn't nominated for best variety talk series a second year in a row)
- Roseanne, Modern Family and Will & Grace were snubbed for best comedy, Killing Eve was snubbed for best drama
- Roseanne did earn two Emmy nominations, including one for Laurie Metcalf
- "It worked": Megan Amram's An Emmy for Megan was nominated for an Emmy in short form comedy or drama series category
- Acting snubs: Kit Harington, John Goodman, Emilia Clarke, Kyle McLachlan, Alison Brie and Freddie Highmore
- The late Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown earned six Emmy nominations
- Amy Sedaris, Sarah Silverman and Tracey Ullman to take on SNL in outstanding variety sketch category
- Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage becomes the most-nominated drama series supporting actor in Emmy history
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah earned its first nomination for best variety talk series
- Killing Eve's Sandra Oh becomes the first person of Asian descent to be nominated for best actress in a drama
- Samantha Bee's C-word controversy didn't stop Full Frontal from getting nominated for best variety talk series
- The best Emmy nomination reactions: Lin-Manuel Miranda is "Pretty, pretty, pretty grateful" to be nominated for Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Twin Peaks: The Return was snubbed in the major categories, but it did receive nine nominations
- Modern Family ends streak after eight-straight nominations for best comedy: “It was a hell of a run," says co-creator Steve Levitan
- Chrissy Teigen: If John Legend wins for Jesus Christ Superstar Live, "he will complete his EGOT and my spike tv award will probably be moved"
- Viola Davis was snubbed for Hot to Get Away with Murder, but she was nominated for playing the same character on Scandal
- This Is Us fans aren't happy with Mandy Moore's snub
- Kenan Thompson was finally nominated for his SNL acting ability, joining Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin
- Breaking down Game of Thrones' 22 nominations: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau scores his first nod
- Real Time with Bill Maher was snubbed for the first time since 2004 -- was Maher hurt by N-word and featuring right-wing trolls?
- These actors earned nominations for multiple show: Jane Lynch, Donald Glover, Alex Borstein, Jeff Daniels and Sterling K. Brown
# TOPICS: 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, ABC, Amazon, CBS, FX, HBO, Hulu, NBC, Netflix, An Emmy for Megan, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, At Home With Amy Sedaris, Atlanta, Black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid's Tale, I Love You, America, Insecure, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Killing Eve, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Modern Family, Real Time with Bill Maher, Roseanne, Saturday Night Live, This is Us, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Tracey Ullman’s Show, Twin Peaks: The Return, Veep, Westworld, Will & Grace, Aidy Bryant, Alec Baldwin, Alex Borstein, Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris, Anthony Bourdain, Bill Maher, Chrissy Teigen, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Freddie Highmore, Issa Rae, James Corden, Jane Lynch, Jeff Daniels, Jimmy Fallon, John Goodman, John Legend, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Kit Harington, Kyle MacLachlan, Laurie Metcalf, Leslie Jones, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mandy Moore, Megan Amram, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Rachel Brosnahan, Samantha Bee, Sandra Oh, Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, Sterling K. Brown, Steve Levitan, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tracey Ullman, Trevor Noah, Viola Davis, Award Shows, Emmys
Posted Thursday 7/05/18 at 12:34PM EDT
Bill Maher thinks Real Time is the funniest late-night show because he doesn't play into liberal fantasies
“It’s my show; of course I think it’s funnier than anybody else’s show," Maher tells Vanity Fair. “But I do. I think it’s just flat-out funnier. I think my monologue is funnier.” He adds: “I don’t really have a tribe. I certainly consider myself a liberal, but I’m not afraid to criticize the liberals when they’re wrong—and in that, I’m fairly unique.”
Posted Friday 6/29/18 at 10:56PM EDT
Bill Maher cites HBO rival Showtime's The Affair in reaction to the sexual misconduct allegations against Chris Hardwick'
The Real Time host doesn't know Hardwick well, but he says he read Chloe Dykstra's account of his alleged emotional and sexual abuse. "There’s a show on — I shouldn’t plug it because it’s my network rival — but there’s a show on Showtime called The Affair," he says when asked about Hardwick. "Have you ever seen it? It’s a Rashomon-type show where the first half hour is his story, then the second half hour is her story. So, they’re showing basically the same sequence of events through the eyes of two different people. And, of course, what you see is how differently people remember the exact same situation. They didn’t invent that, but it’s an interesting way to look at a relationship. So I have no idea. What I do know is this: It’s got to be different when you have 30 accusers than when you have one. When it’s a Bill Cosby, when it’s a Harvey Weinstein, when it’s any of these situations where dozens and dozens of people come forward, then it’s almost preposterous to say, 'Well, there’s nothing to see here.' But when it’s one person, I have no idea. And of course, it’s probably wrong to condemn someone based on one person, because relationships touch our rawest nerves, and people then sometimes do remember things wrong, or sometimes have personal revenge motivations. We just don’t know. Should we believe the woman? Yes, of course. But also every case is an individual case. I don’t think anyone should be arguing that women, ethereal creatures though they are, are infallible."
Posted Wednesday 6/27/18 at 1:16PM EDT
Republican National Committee releases an "Unhinged" ad featuring Michelle Wolf, Samantha Bee, Bill Maher and Kathy Griffin
The RNC-produced commercial, titled "The Left In 2018: Unhinged" aims to take advantage of the liberal comedians' various controversies, with "narration" from Bernie Sanders (taken from 2016 presidential campaign speeches)..
Posted Friday 6/15/18 at 10:55PM EDT
AT&T executive taking over HBO, TBS, TNT and CNN promises a hands-off approach -- even when it comes to Samantha Bee and Bill Maher
AT&T's John Stankey, 55, is now in charge of the $31 billion conglomerate that comprises Warner Bros. film studios, Turner and HBO as part of the AT&T-Time Warner merger. The company is changing its name to WarnerMedia. Stankey says he'll take a hands-off approach to the creative side of WarnerMedia. When asked about President Trump constantly attacking CNN, Stankey said: "Well, first of all the folks at CNN will continue to do what they do without my involvement or intervention. I think they do that incredibly very well, and they will continue to do that under my leadership just like they did the day before I showed up here." When asked about Bee and Maher -- and her recent Full Frontal controversy -- Stankey said his networks will continue having the same freedom they currently enjoy. "People who are running the creative process are professionals at running the creative process," he says. "I don’t believe that AT&T — the historical AT&T — by its nature brings much capability or intellectual property to do that better." ALSO: AT&T plans to give HBO a bigger budget to compete with Netflix.
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 11:47PM EDT
Bill Maher weighs in on his friend Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, calling it "abhorrent and presidential"
The Real Time host also went after "snowflakes on the right” for “dragging him into this” by trying to get his show canceled in retribution for Roseanne's cancelation. “Half the country wants Roseanne to go way forever, half the country wants Samantha Bee to go away forever… so much for wanting more female voices in television,” Maher quipped. He also blasted President Trump as a "whiny little b*tch" for "making it about him" in twice demanding that Disney CEO Bob Iger apologize for past slights.
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 2:14PM EDT
Roseanne executive producer recalls the "shock" of learning of cancelation on the first day working on Season 2
Dave Caplan says "there was a lot of bittersweet hellos — and a couple hours later, a lot of very difficult goodbyes." He says the writing staff first learned about the cancelation via the media. "Everybody is still in shock at how quickly this all went down," he says. "It's unfortunate because the writers did pass on other jobs to take this job and nobody really knows yet what kind of compensation they're going to get. Everybody is a little bit on edge about how it's going to turn out. But we all know it's a wasted opportunity to write more episodes."
- ABC president apologizes to Roseanne's now-unemployed staff: "We're so sorry they were swept up in all of this and we give thanks to their remarkable talents, wish them well and hope to find another way to work together down the road."
- Roseanne Barr tweets "I’m not a racist. I never was & I never will be" before retweeting an anti-Valerie Jarrett Wikileaks document dump
- Dictionary searches for "racist" have skyrocketed in the past 24 hours
- Ambien maker responds to Roseanne's Ambien defense: "racism is not a known side effect"
- Mindy Kaling offers to "write things" for Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman
- Lena Dunham responds to Kaling's tweet, offering to do a spinoff "starring Darlene’s cool kids"
- Whoopi Goldberg slams Roseanne for retweeting a fake anti-Trump meme about her
- From Jackie to Darlene to Jackie and Darlene: Five ways Roseanne could return without Roseanne Barr
- Jimmy Kimmel imagines a Roseanne-less Roseanne show that focuses on Dan Conner
- Why Roseanne can't carry on without Roseanne Barr: She'll undermine the show with her tweeting
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus responds to Roseanne with an Instagram picture with "my pal" Valerie Jarrett
- Shonda Rhimes blasts Roseanne's Ambien defense, tells her to "#ownyouractions"
- Bill Maher -- who also was canceled by ABC amid controversy -- gets caught in the Roseanne cancelation crossfire
Posted Thursday 5/10/18 at 9:39PM EDT
HBO orders Bill Maher: Triggered, the comedian's 11th solo standup special
Maher, who has been doing HBO standup specials since 1989, says half of his new show is about Trump.
Posted Sunday 5/06/18 at 2:49AM EDT
Bill Maher praises Michelle Wolf for speaking truth to power, slams "Groundhog Day Syndrome"
“These people have Groundhog Day Syndrome," Maher said on HBO's Real Time of Wolf's White House Correspondents' Dinner performance. "Every year it’s, Let’s hire a comedian to tell jokes! And the day after it’s, Why did we hire a comedian to tell jokes?!’” ALSO: Wolf spent the week after her WHCD controversy running a 50-mile ultramarathon.
Posted Sunday 4/29/18 at 1:21AM EDT
Bill Maher to "dear friend" Roseanne Barr: "You impulse-purchased a Trump"
“You’re not Archie Bunker, you’re Bernie Sanders!” Maher said of Roseanne on Real Time, adding: “Like it or not, you are now the face of the Trump supporter because you really do speak for a certain kind of American who knows they’re being screwed by someone, they just don’t know who. But here’s what you’re missing about Trump: When he says he’s ‘looking out for the little guy,’ he’s talking about his d*ck. And as your friend, Roseanne, I must remind you of something very important: You’re a socialist! You’ve been one for 30 years.”
Posted Saturday 4/14/18 at 12:07AM EDT
A journalist of South Asian descent says "most of us happily embraced Apu" in the 1990s, but The Simpsons can fix its most controversial character
"For those of us with low expectations, starving for any representation, Apu was a breath of fresh air," says Wajahat Ali, the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants who grew up near Silicon Valley. While other portrayals showed brown people as cab drivers or terrorists, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon "was an integral character in the Simpsons universe who was able to be a co-protagonist of several episodes," he says. "Only in a cartoon, we thought, could people who look like us achieve such a feat." But that doesn't mean Apu or The Simpsons "get a lifetime pass to perpetuate lazy stereotypes," he says. "Any piece of art, no matter how well intentioned, harmless or silly, is not above reproach or critical examination... Instead of engaging with the issue of representation, which would have made for a more satirical and topical show — you know, the type The Simpsons used to do years ago — the writers responded with the worst creative sin: laziness." What The Simpsons shouldn't have done, he says, is "hijack your show’s most intellectual and empathetic voice, Lisa, as a foil for the writers’ unwillingness to be self-critical and engage their blind spots when it comes to listening to people of color who feel silenced and misunderstood. Thus, the show engages in another major sin: omission. After Lisa’s finger-wagging, the camera pans to a photo of Apu with the inscription 'Don’t have a cow!' Apu, who is a supporting character, is robbed of lines, rendered mute and frozen in a suffocating frame, smiling as a token prop. That’s exactly how so many people of color feel in real life — all the time." Ali adds: "What The Simpsons should have done was a stand-alone episode centered on Apu, who, after becoming a citizen many years ago, is confronted with an immigrant travel ban...Nobody would have a cow. But we would have an intelligent, critical, satirical show that at least confronts problematic issues instead of running away from them."
- Showrunner Al Jean explained why Lisa Simpson defended Apu, but why did she look at the camera?
- Jean criticized for tweeting conservative media in The Simpsons' defense
- Jean tweeted a link to the National Review piece: "Why the Apu Simpsons Controversy Bothers Me as an Indian American"
- Harry Shearer stuck up for the show, tweeting to Hari Kondabolu: "Bart, a pre-pubescent boy, is played by an adult woman. What's up with that?"
- BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg slammed The Simpsons response: "Imagine choosing to describe yourself and your work as 'applauded and inoffensive'"
- Bill Maher defends The Simpsons' response to Apu: "If you spend your time combing through old TV shows to identify stuff that by today’s standards looks bad, you’re not ‘woke,’ you’re just a douchebag"
Posted Wednesday 2/28/18 at 5:47PM EST
Bill Maher to welcome two Parkland high school students
David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, two of the highest-profile Florida school shooting survivors, are scheduled to appear on Real Time on Friday.
Posted Monday 2/12/18 at 8:22PM EST
Amber Ruffin: Bill Maher, "go f*ck yourself"
The Late Night writer/performer, in her monologue as host of the Writers Guild Awards last night, praised her boss Seth Meyers as "the first woke late-night host" and called BET host Robin Thede "the most woke late-night host." She also name-dropped Jordan Klepper and John Oliver for also being "woke." As for Bill Maher? He can go "f*ck himself," she said.
Posted Thursday 1/04/18 at 2:08PM EST
Bill Maher mocks Al Franken’s groping photo with a sleeping Bob Saget
"These New Years Hawaii trips are getting weird — Saget, forgive me!" the HBO host posted on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of him pretending to grope a sleeping Saget on a private plane.