Bill Maher on the Hunger for Common Sense


1 year ago



Bill Maher

3 appearances

Bill Maher is a comedian, political commentator, the host of HBO's "Real Time with Maher" and his own podcast, "Club Random." Catch him in residency at the David Copperfield Theatre at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 15 and 16 and November 3 and


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Well, I think that's because we are both seen as people who are sort of like common sensical. And that is what there is a hunger for, I think, in America more than anything, is common sense. Yes. The, away from the extremes, I mean, when people say to me, you know, you're, don't you think you've gotten more conservative? No, I haven't. The left has gotten goofier. Yes. I think you seem more conservative, maybe, but like it's not me who changed. Yes. I feel I'm the same guy, but five years ago, you know, we hadn't spent $6 trillion to stay home. I mean, I understand we had to do something with the pandemic. I'm not sure that was, you know, I mean, I remember when a trillion dollars was too much to spend on anything. We didn't spend a trillion to bail out the economy in 2008. So we didn't do that. Five years ago, no one was talking about abolishing the police. You know, there was no talk about, you know, pregnant men. You know, I mean, there was just, looting was still illegal. Right. You know, isn't that crazy? There was just, there's, so like, have I changed? No, because if someone had said 20 years ago, I'm not sure looting is a bad thing. I would have opposed it then. So I haven't changed. But that, I think, is what there is this hunger for, is this sort of common sense. You know, centrism is such a wishy washy word, but that's sort of what it is. People lean a little more to the left, a little more to the right, sometimes it's issue by issue. But just, you know, I'm always saying to the Democrats, just don't be the party of no common sense and you will be surprised at how much amazing success you will have as opposed to what's going to have happened, which is they're going to get their ass kicked in November. Well, people like you are very important to people like me because you represent what means, what it means to me to be liberal, what it means to me to be left wing. Because you're just a normal person who cares about people's rights and wants a certain amount of freedom and wants people to get along and work things out amicably. But the polarization in this country has made it so that people like you are rare. It's weird. It's like that's what I used to think of when I thought of the left. I thought of like professors and intellectuals and these people that would sit down and work through things with the understanding that free speech is one of the most important aspects of communication possible. And communication is everything. Communication is how we work things out. Like this idea of not talking to people you disagree with. Well, guess what? That just galvanizes them. They just get hardened and they move further and further away and we get more and more associated with this idea of left and right and good and bad and one and zero and this side does not agree with anything that side says. That's crazy. It doesn't make any sense. And if you're out there doing it, it gives people hope. And it's not just what you're saying, common sense. You do have common sense. But more importantly, you have courage because courage allows you to speak your mind whether you're right or wrong. Courage allows you to take a chance and you're seeing the wave of people that are moving in a certain direction. It doesn't necessarily make sense. And you're like, hey, what the fuck is going on? And everybody's like, finally someone's saying it on TV because maybe someone said it at a cocktail party. Maybe someone said it at a barbecue, but they're not fucking saying it on HBO until you say it on HBO. Well, thank you. I appreciate that. It means a lot. There's levels of courage. There's like, yeah, I mean, I will take that compliment as long as I can also say, but there's like Marines level. Yeah, you're not a Navy SEAL. Absolutely. You're not even a woman about to give birth. I'm in the D League. In the D League, I have a lot of courage, but I'm not playing in the upper league. Which you have is honesty. But thank you. You have honesty. And people know that and that's why your show works. And that's also, I always feel like, what my bond with the audience is. When I started way back on Politically Incorrect almost 30 years ago, people said, this show will never work because a TV host can never reveal his politics. I mean, Johnny Carson never did. Leno didn't. David Letterman. They never said, I'm voting for this guy. Whereas, I mean, you obviously know who all the late night hosts are for now. Right. It's a completely one sided thing. They have to pander to the liberal audience, which watches them. It's so reverse of when I started. It's bonkers. When you couldn't be political and now you couldn't survive, apparently, in late night television unless you are political. Unless the audience knows exactly that you're, and I would put Saturday Night Live in this too. It's, I think Elon Musk took them to task. He said, it doesn't seem like a show that's about comedy anymore. So much as it is about declaring some woke doctrine. Yeah. And having people, the people who go to those shows and are in there, I guess, where they film them and stuff. My audience was too indoctrinated for a while. We have a much better audience now because we kind of got rid of the groaners, the people for whom I was always too politically incorrect. And I was like, I've been doing this forever. The names of the shows, politically incorrect, real time. And you still come to this show and groan when I say something too real? What fucking show did you think you were coming to? Because they do film the prices right in the same studio. Do you think that the way it's going right now with late night television where you, everyone has to be political, is that what the audience wants or is that what the executives in the studio wants? Are they one step behind? Where is the mandate coming from? Is it the person who's the host who says, you know what I know works in this town if I want to keep working? I have to be outwardly left leaning progressive political. I think it's coming from both because corporations in America now are- They're leaning in. They're leaning into woke hardcore. They're petrified of some kind of backlash. You see with Disney now, Disney, one of the most gay friendly companies that we've had in a very long time, as they should be, all companies should be gay friendly. But Disney had gay days at Disney, what is it, World, Land? I don't know. I'm not at Disney- I think it was the LA one, right? I think it's Land. Disney Land is the original. That's right. Disney World is in Florida. You'll never find me sitting in a teacup, Joe. I love teacups. I mean, in my category of things that only children used to do that now adults do, I mean, if I had a nickel for every time somebody said, you know, I'm going to Disney Land and I'm like, with your kids? No, we're just going. Okay. But there is that. There is corporations, I think, yes, are always going to want to- and look, I'm glad they are progressive thinking. Of course, like with everything on the left these days, they just take it too far. But I think it's coming from the audience more because the audience who goes to a taping of Saturday Night Live or a show like that, they're youngish and, you know, they believe what they believe. A lot of the things I also believe. But it's sort of an unexamined- like, they don't know too much. They don't know much about politics. They just know that- and again, you mentioned Trump doing this. Like he was so awful that it's just very easy to turn off to the details and go, well, I'm with the Democrats and the left.