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Real Time with Bill Maher is back!


My favorite current events/comedy show is back! I'm a huge Maher fan and like this even more than the Daily Show or anything like that.

Friday was his first show of the current run (I don't want to say "season," 'cause I don't think HBO works that way). There will be new episodes every week until November 5 (which is right after the election, so that's cool).

Maher came back strong. Guests: Repub CO senator, ex-Canadian prime minister, Michael Moore. The show began was a spoof of F-9/11, with Maher reading My Pet Goat with kids, being told his live show was starting, and Moore himself doing the voice over like in the movie while Maher does the confused look. Than the camera pans over to Moore standing right there with a look. "Perhaps Mr. Maher is thinking, 'Without me, there is no show. If there's no show, there's no after party. If there's no after party, I'm not getting laid.'" Startled look on Maher's face. Moore: "That's right- not getting laid."
(Maher's dating life is pretty infamous. No surprise I love the guy.)

After Maher's typically mediocre monologue (never his strong point, IMO), he had OutKast member Andre3000 talk about voting which didn't go anywhere because Andre isn't exactly the most engaging speaker. Maher tried to get him riled up by pointing about the seemingly racist way TV networks treated Sharpton's DNC appearance.

There was a lot of lively debate with the three panelists. The Canadian exPM was very engaging, reasonable, and articulate. Definitely left-leaning, but also called Moore out on a false analogy he made. She made the excellent point that it's a shame that the only way to see our president's reaction to 9/11 was to see Moore's film.

The funniest moment was when the senator tried to call Moore out on his movie and Moore asked, "Have you seen the film?" and he said he didn't. Moore's reaction of clasping his forehead and crying, "See what I've been dealing with?!" was precious and that destroyed any argument he had about it.

Nader made an appearance and Maher tried to hit with the logic of how pointless his presidential race is. He and Moore then literally got down on their knees and begged him to drop out. Maher then held up a picture of OJ Simpson to illustrate that a man can be considered a hero most of his life and lose it due to "one thing." :LOL:

Maher ended with his "New Rules" bit which is always hilarious. (I don't quite get why this bit is always so great while his opening monologue is lame. I think maybe it's because here he's ranting and slamming people. Negative humor is funnier). I love how he made fun of that retarded thumb-fist thing that pols do when they talk (Clinton did it a lot, and Edwards seems to be favoring that heavily as well).
He ended it with a rant about how the networks and the public didn't take the convention seriously. The networks are bored by the whole thing because it's not EXCITING and UNPREDICTABLE. "How about the reaction to 9/11- invading... Iraq! Ooh, exciting, unpredictable!"

The show will repeat on Tuesday and/or Wednesday night. Thank goodness I have a DVR, 'cause Friday night TV programming doesn't jibe with a social life.
The Canadian exPM was very engaging, reasonable, and articulate.

Well, that definitely rules out Chrétien. Especially on the articulate point. :LOL: Who was it though?
Although I disagree with him on several issues, like public funding of the arts, which he opposes, I do like his show. I like the freedom, and lack of bleeping, he gets on HBO, but I think I liked the structure of his old show better. As to his "New Rules," some I agree with, but there are usually one or two that I disagree with strongly. But, he is a man of convictions, straightforward, honest, and usually very funny, so, any disagreements I have don't detract from my enjoyment of his show.
Yes, that was it. Thanks.

Jade, though I do end up enjoying the political humor of left-leaning, I don't think they have to be that to be funny, and that's what I'm more concerned with. It's just that people in entertainment tend to be social liberals, so it ends up that way.

My political humor mostly consists of John Stewart, Bill Maher and Al Franken.

Though Franken has a "serious" political talk show, I know his biases and treat it as entertainment and tend to turn it off when it isn't entertaining or when he starts to repeat the same stuff.

Stewart- well, we have a seperate thread for him.

Maher not only will hold views I disagree with (which is fine), but in person he's notoriously a dick. I did meet him when I auditioned for Politically Incorrect as a citizen panelist. He was OK in person (and that was after being stuck in vicious New England traffic and other problems that day), but he often comes off as arrogant, brash, and spoiled. But that's OK, because he's good.

I like the structure of Real Time much more than PI, which I used to watch a lot, also:
- It's longer. PI would have to end right when a discussion was good. He used to claim that was good because of the old show biz logo of "leave them wanting more." But I still feel that way after an hour.
- Part of that is due to the staggered nature of the show. It's not just talking to three people (better than four, which would get cluttered). The monologue, New Rules, two brief interviews (one in person, one via videophone).
- No censorship
- Better guests. A lot of PI guests were vanity celebs who were there just because they're famous, not necessarily because they have anything interesting to say.

The one thing I can think of off the top of my head that I strongly disagree with him is on animal rights. Yeah, I'm all for not being cruel and stuff, but he supports PeTA, which is a border-line terrorist group and definitely extremists. I think he, like many well-intentioned people, don't really know the truth about those jackasses.
Maher is a libertarian, pretty much, and I don't have a problem with his being one, or his very independent political views. I like that, even when I disagree with him. I don't mind having politicos I like and support skewered, so long as I think it is accurate, and fair.

I didn't recall that he supports PETA, that kind of suprises me. Although I am an omnivore, I have some sympathies towards PETA, but don't support all of their tactics. Maher doesn't believe that anyone can EVER suffer harm from secondhand smoke, and that nonsmokers should just put up with it, anywhere. On that, I disagree with him very strongly, having lived with 2-3 pack a day parents.

The thing I liked about PI, was it seemed more intense. You're right, it did often end, just when it got going good, but I think all the breaks to other bits on RT also defuse/diffuse the conversations, as much.

So, you were interviewed to be a citizen panelist? Did you make it? I remember them. I always wondered why it ended, I thought some were interesting, and it was a good concept.

I'm looking forward to seeing Franken's show on the Sundance Channel, starting Sept. 7th! It will be taken from his radio show. Remember him 'going to bed' with Ariana Huffington, on PI, back when she was a conservative? ;)
Yes, I remember! Arianna has now joined the forces of Light. :)

I made it past the preliminary rounds and got to debate with Maher and other contestants. 3 or 4 people got picked out of that (I wasn't one of those), and the one to get on the show was to be decided once the other guests on that night's show were booked, so that they know how to balance it out. The woman they picked was a middle aged, eloquent lady with very libertarian views. I'm glad she was picked- the nicest and smartest one of the group, including myself.

I didn't even know about Franken's TV show. Too bad I don't get Sundance.

There is also talk of him running for the Senate.

Pointless adendum to me previous list of political entertainment: I do regularly watch Tough Crowd w/ Colin Quinn, which has practically zero political talk since it's just a bunch of comedians, but Quinn is a conservative.

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