Bill Maher back with a vengeance, writers not needed
By Stone Martindale Jan 12, 2008, 19:52 GMT
Bill Maher - Bill Maher Performs at the Hard Rock Hotel - April 20, 2007 - Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Las Vegas, NV, USA © Erik Kabik / PR Photos
Bill Maher paid tribute to his "missed" writers who were not part of his comeback show that aired live last night.
Despite the lack of writers, the unscripted debate with his guests Mark Cuban, Tony Snow and Catherine Crier was riveting and aided by a visiting journalist who added fuel to their exchanges: Matt Taibbi.
Maher's field report "Caucus me" was well-done too:
PJ O'Rourke was taped live from New Hampshire. He joked that flinty New Englanders were cranky and political hard sells because of the crappy weather there.
The lack of writers caused Maher to ditch his traditional opening monologue and the closing segment "New Rules." Maher improvised it on the spot. He ended his show with a tribute to his writers, but aimed his withering eye at corporations and the WGA getting in to an unwinnable fight:
During HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" Bill began the program bashing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for "faking" a teary moment and made it a central focus of his monologue, as well as the entire program during which he questioned the sanity of voters who bought into her crying game.
Maher began: "Ladies and gentlemen, much like Hillary Clinton, I finally come before you tonight without armor, no writers, no one putting words in my mouth, I'm going to speak from the heart, and hopefully by listening to you, I will find my own voice (begins crying.)"
"I don't get this. Hillary Clinton's been bragging all year long that she's been doing this for 35 years - but she just found her voice on Tuesday? There's a medical term for this: slow learner!"
"These are challenging times for the politically correct, I mean, don't blame me for being sexist, because I read this in the New York Times that Hillary Clinton was going to lose New Hampshire, and then she cried and people voted for her especially the women.
They wanted to see the robot cry. That's what it was. It was like P.T. Barnum, 'See the robot cry.' She broke the fourth wall. She cried, and then there was blood on the Sun.
But I've heard of electing a president you want to have a beer with. But, electing a president you want to have a good cry with? I mean, it's not a serious country. And I noticed that it was the exact right amount of crying. Did you see that? I mean, it wasn't like a full tear, people would have been like, 'Oh, come on, that's glycerin! That's bullshit!' It was just, it was like, if it was any more crying, it would have been like Howard Dean's scream."
"...And the timing of the crying was a little suspicious. I mean, she's been in public life all this time, she never once cried. On the day before her entire career was on the line, the crying comes. So, who do I more believe, Hillary's cry or Roger Clinton's denial? I gotta go with Roger on that one. I really do.
"...And you know that this cry was all prompted by a question that Hillary got, she was in a diner, where she eats most of her meals. And a woman said to her, 'I just want to know, how do you do it?'
Maher even suggested that because Republicans prefer to run against Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama they engineered her victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary.
Maher opened the panel discussion, with Tony Snow, Crier and Mark Cuban, by observing how he found it “odd” that polls showed Obama ahead in New Hampshire, yet Clinton won, and “it does bother me that a private company runs the polling machines and that only they certainly seem to know what went on.”
A bit later Maher noted that “in crime they always ask...'who profits?'” Looking at Snow, he then pondered:
"Who profits from the Hillary victory? They don't want to run against Obama. Your party does not want to run against him. They want to run against Hillary Clinton and now they have a race with her in it."
Snow went apoplectic and called Maher's reasoning “totally whacko!” and his hair was on fire and he was “completely whacked” as Maher contended Republicans have thrown races before. Maher said: “They did it to Ed Muskie.”
Catherine Crier noted “you have to work really hard to find a truly liberal” politician and “Hillary Clinton and John Edwards and Barack Obama are not raging liberals.”