Bill Maher is the only liberal late-night host willing to throw viewers a curve ball now and then.
The “Real Time with Bill Maher” comic puts his progressive beliefs aside when he sees the Left’s less than stellar qualities. Think its penchant for Identity Politics, rage against “problematic” Halloween costumes and eagerness to run Republicans out of restaurants.
It’s earned him praise on Fox News, drawn a new swath of fans for his live performances and, most likely, driven some of his fellow liberals to distraction.
His biggest sin, in his hard-Left critics’ eyes? He engages with the other side of the aisle sans apology. He’ll make nice with The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro one week on his HBO showcase, then invite Steve Bannon on his show the next.
Inconceivable, to quote an egotistical ’80s character.
“I wish we had someone on our side as evil as you,” Maher cracked to Bannon, face to face. It wasn’t kind, but many on the Left wouldn’t dare invite the former Trump consultant on the show in the first place.
Now, Maher is bringing that same spirt to his podcasting realm. “Club Random” lets Maher put politics (mostly) aside to chat with interesting people, first and foremost. The comedian’s free speech bona fides have never been more obvious.
The show, just a few months old, invites an eclectic group of stars to sit with Maher, crack wise and imbibe liquor (or semi-legal substances, depending on the laws of one’s particular state).
Some, like Adam Carolla, follow Maher’s take no prisoners approach to comedy and free speech. Other guests, though, raise serious eyebrows for their contrarian views.
“We talked about a million things, but certainly I admire his guts for standing by what he truly believes. Which is pretty much what I believe.”Bill Maher
Maher also chatted with Dr. Drew Pinsky, a veteran media personality who sounds all-but red pilled over the past two-plus years thanks to the government’s pandemic overreach and extreme media bias.
Dr. Pinsky often interviews “canceled” doctors to explore their views on controversial topics like pandemic guidelines. That hardly scared Maher away from inviting him on the podcast.
Maher recently chatted up Dave Rubin, the liberal-turned-quasi-conservative who schooled Maher on a few areas, including Hillary Clinton’s history of election denialism.
Perhaps Maher’s most incendiary guest, Kid Rock, wouldn’t be welcome in most interview spaces. The unapologetically conservative rocker boasts an impressive run as a rebel rocker, but his right-leaning rhetoric keeps him off most late-night forums these days.
Not Maher’s podcast.
Kid Rock shared how he once met President Barack Obama, adding how “cool” the former leader was, both in general and in person. The rocker didn’t vote for him, but he acknowledged what it meant for America to elect a black president and wanted his mixed race son to meet Obama.
Kid Rock also revealed how he lost some friends due to political differences, a confession which rankled Maher.
“Let’s just not instinctively hate somebody because of who they are and what team they’re on.”Bill Maher
Maher helps avoid that these days by speaking to anyone in show business, regardless of political affiliation.
Maher’s past suggests he’d be the last comic to bow to woke demands. He survived an ill-timed quip about the terrorists who crashed into the Twin Towers on 9/11 weeks after that horrific day.
“We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building? Say what you want about it…not cowardly,”Bill Maher
He kept his ABC talk show for a few months after that kerfuffle, but it likely played a role in the show’s demise.
Later, he stood tall as the Cancel Culture-style mob tried to stop his 2014 UC Berkeley appearance citing his anti-Islam critiques.
“C’mon, it’s Berkeley. I think I can speak freely here … I mean, I hope I can.”Bill Maher
He can, still, and he’s one reason why his fellow stars can do the same.