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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Q&A with Bill Maher, coming to Cobb Energy Centre May 26

Bill Maher on the set of his show. CREDIT: Sam Jones/HBO

Bill Maher on the set of his show. CREDIT: Sam Jones/HBO

Bill Maher, the unabashed liberal comedian and talk-show host, has been in a rather upbeat mood since the Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden under Pres. Obama’s watch.

On his weekly Friday night HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher,” he recently dubbed Obama “one efficient, steely-nerved, multi-tasking, black Ninja gangsta president!”

He’ll be giving left-leaning fans plenty more bon mots during his upcoming stand-up appearance Thursday May 26 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, his first concert in Atlanta in nearly two years.

In a recent interview, he riffed on Obama, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

Q: Were you stunned when Rush Limbaugh gave the President props for a few minutes?

Maher: I think the key is a few minutes. How quickly he went back. I think he and others like him were just stunned that Obama had done it… He aced the exam. He said from his campaign we’d go after bin Laden. He focused on al-Qaida. Some psychological barrier has been broken by getting bin Laden. Maybe we don’t have to keep distracting ourselves with this ridiculous war [in Afghanistan.] The war that never ends. Not that we shouldn’t be vigilant, but we need to focus on building this country.

Q: So you think we should get out of Afghanistan?

Maher: I never thought there was much rationale for being there. I understand politically it was important for Obama to have some war going. This is America! I think he has now proven his bonafides that he did what Bush couldn’t do.

Q: What did you think of Bush declining to attend the Ground Zero ceremony Obama had?

Maher: Apparently, he felt slighted for not getting enough credit for killing bin Laden, which has something to do with the fact he didn’t get him. If I were him, I wouldn’t go either. Do you want to stand next to the guy who does something way better than you do?

Q: Someone dug up a 2008 episode of “Real Time” where Christiane Amanpour [then on CNN] said she had a source who believed Osama was in a comfortable villa in Pakistan, not a cave in Afghanistan. Did you buy it at the time?

Maher: I don’t remember our reaction. I don’t think I would have been shocked by that point… The Bush administration seemed a lot more befuddled by it. The point of showing that clip is to say, ‘She knew. Why didn’t they?’

Q: Do the Republicans have a realistic shot in 2012 of winning the presidency?

Maher: It’s too early. But it’s fun to speculate… Look, the Republicans right now are falling in love with someone new every week. It was Sarah Palin, then Michele Bachman, then Donald Trump. They all flame out. Newt Gingrich? He announced he was running over the Internet, on Twitter and Facebook. Why? Because he couldn’t get enough people to show up at a rally.

Q: Did you think Donald Trump was serious?

Maher: I thought he was. But they took away his big issue with the birther stuff. His issue got fired. He had some backlash. You saw his face during the Correspondent’s dinner. He couldn’t even fake laugh along when the President made fun of him. As a politician, you have to suck it up and fake it all day long. This is not something Trump is capable of doing.

Q: Do you find doing stand-up on stage easier or more difficult than your talk show?

Maher: It’s kind of hard to compare them. Stand-up is my first love. The longest relationship I’ve ever had is with stand-up. I couldn’t imagine doing the show without stand-up. I’d feel like I was sitting in this ivory tower in Los Angeles. I go out 75 nights a year. I talk to people at the airport, the cab driver, the person at the hotel, customers at the Starbucks. You get a feel for the country you can’t if you don’t travel it. I feel I get perspective when I come back to my desk here.

Q: Your show seems to be on more than it used to.

Maher: We have a much longer contract. We do 35 weeks a year. We’re no longer take three or four months off like other HBO shows. They understand now that we’re not like those other shows. We’re not ‘Sex and the City.’

IN CONCERT
Bill Maher
8 p.m. May 26
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta
$48.55 to $82.85 after fees
Ticketmaster.com

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

57 comments Add your comment

SWAT Native

May 17th, 2011
11:05 am

Rodney,

You scared me for a minute. I’ve got tickets to see Incognito in the Cobb Energy Center on May 25th. I think Bill Maher will be there on the 26th.

Rodney Ho

May 17th, 2011
11:11 am

Yes indeedy, May 26!

observor

May 17th, 2011
11:52 am

Did you have to take a shower after that interview to wash away all the smugness?

CF

May 17th, 2011
1:35 pm

two sissy liberals chatting, how lame.

Montana

May 17th, 2011
2:07 pm

So “The Donald” finally “Dumped The TRUMP” and “The Huckster” is gone too, who will take over the “GOP BIRTHER” reigns? Poor BIRTHERs they just rattled your cages and you came a running, Ha, Ha, SUCKERS!

So will Mitch Daniels defunding Planned Parenthood real help our economy or is it a play to help the TeaBParty forget the he was Budget Director for “W” and his ability to worsen jobs, the deficits, and our economy, WOW, good luck with you dullard.

Crumpy

May 17th, 2011
4:08 pm

He is a dumb Lib.

Crumpy Frisky.

Escaped from Email Purgatory

May 17th, 2011
4:42 pm

Maher’s HBO show can be entertaining. But as mentioned by a previous poster, he’s insufferably smug.

He also has an absolutely filthy mouth. He seems to think that just because he can (i.e. he’s on cable) he’s obliged to squeeze gratuitous vulgarities in at every opportunity. He often has distinguished guests on his panel and it makes for cringe-worthy moments when he drops his numerous “F” bombs and sophomoric sexual references in their presence. It’s embarrassing for a grown man to behave in such a manner.

As far as his latest “compliment” payed Obama, give me a break. A “bad assed black ninja President”? What a joke. Bill seems to harbor some deep seeded “gangsta” envy. He’s just another homely white boy with insecurity issues who thinks the supreme compliment he can pay a black man is to ascribe superfly characteristics to him.

Wake the f— up Bill.

Peter

May 17th, 2011
5:09 pm

Poor Repub’s…… still not over the fact Bush failed America Horribly…..

Put us in debt for nothing……ran the country into the ground. Well you get a C student to be president, and you get C student results.

Allen

May 17th, 2011
6:18 pm

Love Bill Maher . . . he knows how to sock the truth to the right-wingers . . . and they hate him for it.

Billsen

May 17th, 2011
6:37 pm

Escaped from Email Purgatory – really? Bill Maher has a potty mouth? Have you ever heard Donald Trump speak?

If you think he’s smug and has a dirty mouth, then don’t watch his show. Duh.

Vidal Sasooooon

May 17th, 2011
7:05 pm

Maybe Russia will send their troops back to Afghanistan if we get the hell out.

More wasted lives like Vietnam.

Escaped from Email Purgatory

May 17th, 2011
7:11 pm

Billsen,
Thanks for the unsolicited advice. I think I’ll follow my own instincts on this one. Since you seem enamored of your own opinion, however, got any movie recommendations?

Not sure of the connection between Trump and Bill Maher, but since you ended your missive with a “Duh” I expect you’ve surmised that it’s beyond my level of comprehension. Maybe you’re making the tired point that whatever sin is committed by your political brethren is being committed ten fold by your political opposites. Ho freaking hum, Billsen. How long did it take you to come up with that gem?

Maher’s show can be entertaining. And he’s got the ‘cred to attract top-flight guests. As far as not watching, that’s why God invented the remote control. Many is the time I switch from channel 301 to 303 (on my Xfinity cable box) to avoid Bill’s objectionable behavior.

Tom

May 17th, 2011
7:26 pm

Love how the Obama sycophants like Maher, O’Donnell, et al spin the Osama hit as “Obama did what Bush couldn’t”, as if the search started fresh when Barry took office. What absurdity and childishness. Way to take a backhanded slap at the military and CIA in an effort to grab onto the one sole success Barry could even possibly claim.

dennis

May 17th, 2011
7:26 pm

Enter your comments here

dennis

May 17th, 2011
7:29 pm

Maher. Major a##hole. Not sure why anybody pays attention to him. If he were funny, it might be a different story. Oh well, just another moron for the Neanderthals to love.

GT

May 17th, 2011
7:36 pm

Maher in the Bible belt, men on the moon, what will they come up with next?

Clay

May 17th, 2011
7:55 pm

Maher used to be funny. Now he just seems to have a political axe to grind which = not funny any more.

Chief Wiggum

May 17th, 2011
8:11 pm

Maher is indeed an arrogant d-bag. Anything the left says about Glenn Beck applies to Maher, in spades. Don’t really like Beck, really can’t stand Maher.

Progress

May 17th, 2011
10:03 pm

Yeah, the right wing nutjobs hate Bill Maher (see above). He exposes them for what they are: latent homosexual homophobic anti-American religious hypocrites with 12th century mythical views of the world, people who are barely worthy of high school diplomas. And that’s their leaders. The followers (see above) are a couple rungs below that

TG

May 18th, 2011
8:39 am

I saw Maher at the Cobb center a few years ago, I wasn’t fond of the venue. I felt like I paid a lot of money but my seat location didn’t reflect that, so I’ll pass on that one.

EscapedfromEmailPurgatory, your first post is RIGHT ON THE MONEY, especially that last part. It took me a minute, but after a while I realized Maher’s incessant “superfly/gangsta” jokes re seemingly ALL Black men, is not cute or funny, but an inverted form of stereotyping, with a tinge of the r-word (which I’m sure Maher, like most liberals, is not aware of.) I remember he had a Black astronaut on his show a few months ago and started with the Black gangsta jokes and I just became nauseous. I like Maher for the most part, but he def. needs a reality check.

All American

May 18th, 2011
9:09 am

Listen folks he’s a comedian first, not a columnist or political reporter. He just happens to make fun of the government and politicians.. That has always been his forte’ if you dont like him… Change the freakin channel. He’s no wost or annoying than listening to Beck, or Hannity.. and I believe theyre classified as news columnist…(new fancy word for entertainer) who takes them serious other than extreme right wing zealouts?

dr truth

May 18th, 2011
9:53 am

Wow, it seems like you righties cant take it very well when exposed to the light of day. Bill puts you out there for all the world to see and it drives you nuts. He, along with Jon Stewart exposes your ignorance, racism, stupidity, political and economic immaturity, and love of revisionist history. Ok, so you call him “smug”. Well when you’re RIGHT on most every issue concerning you a-holes, I think a little smugness is acceptable. Face it righties, your party and your ideology is going the way of the dinosaurs. The pseudo-Christian, repressive, racist, misogynistic and xenophobic reality you want to live in is no longer acceptable by most of the rest of the country or the world for that matter. So go to Ticketmaster and get your seats for Larry the Cable Guy or the next Sean Hannity Freedom concert, and let all the smart people enjoy a brilliant comedic mind like Bill Maher.

dr truth

May 18th, 2011
9:59 am

Oh, yeah and let me add this just to pour a little salt in the wound. @Tom: President Obama is the one who orchestrated the killing of Bin Laden. Face it, son. President BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. He’s done EVERYTHING in his life better than his predecessor. Was a better student, has been a better adult, has given more to the community, probably is a better father and husband, and oh yeah….has been a MUCH better President. He succeeded where GWB FAILED. FAILED. FAILED!!!!! LOL

Sharon

May 18th, 2011
10:33 am

Jeez, I miss the northeast!! Been here two years, and talk about smug…what do you call right wing conservatives who can’t tolerate a comedian using the f-word and sexual innuendos??

Sean

May 18th, 2011
10:38 am

His views on the South are just as backwards as the way he describes us to be. It’s very ironic to see him down here trying to make money off of us.

Reality

May 18th, 2011
10:53 am

It quite illustrative that the one common thread that all lefties on this thread have is the propensity towards ad hominem attacks towards all others that don’t share their intellectually narrow and irrational world view. When all you can provide is personal attacks on others in which you disagree, you are proving without a doubt that you don’t have an facts or substances on your side. Keep it up though, it is quite comical to watch.

Quack says The Duck

May 18th, 2011
11:02 am

Pleeeeeeeease, everyone and his momma could tell Donald Trump’s ( short and brief ) run for President was nothing more than a publicity stunt to boost “The Apprentice” ratings.

I appreciate the social commentary brand of humor Maher and Stewart brings to the air waves.

From Where I Sit

May 18th, 2011
11:13 am

What a MORON you are Bill Maher!

Why don’t you debate Rush or Hannity as they would eat you alive?

Enough Said!

Escaped from Email Purgatory

May 18th, 2011
12:46 pm

There’s nothing “right wing” about being offended by a vulgarian.

It’s not the words so much as it’s their excessive and inappropriate use. Seems a guy as smart as Maher ought to be able to come up with a better schtick than cussing with the ham-handed awkwardness of a fourteen year old boy to make his points.

That’s another thing – exactly what is his point with all the blue language? Is he trying to prove what an iconoclast he is? Sorry Bill, you’re about fifty years too late – Lenny Bruce beat you to it. Cussing on cable TV takes about as much courage as posting to blogs under a pseudonym.

Perhaps he’s trying to impress us (or himself) with what a bad ass he is.

There’s not a thing in the world wrong with the deployment of profanity – even vulgarities by one who’s skilled in the art. But Maher’s insistence on carpet bombing authors, pundits, politicians, editors, academics, publishers, play writes, scientists, et al with vulgarities is just down right crude.

I have no doubt if his mom was on the panel, he wouldn’t curtail his cussing for a second. There’s something wrong with that.

@ peter

May 18th, 2011
1:02 pm

What were Pres. O’s grades????? Oh that’s right he hasn’t released his records. You Douche!

rod

May 18th, 2011
8:17 pm

peter, bush grades were A’s and B’s while Gore and Kerry’s grades were lower. Also, you cant be stupid to fly a fighter jet. You can be Kerry-stupid shooting little vietnamese in the back from your gun boat. Can you fly a plane or barely drive your Prius. Quit smoking and get in there a flip a burger for someone.

rod

May 18th, 2011
8:18 pm

Peter, by the way Bill M sucks

Gob

May 19th, 2011
11:09 am

Sean – What are you talking about? He is spot-on.

“And all this talk about the Southern way of life. Please, I’ve been to the South. It’s the same way of life we have here. You watch TV. You go to the mall. You eat a soft pretzel, and you go home. You just do it slower, that’s all. Gone With The Wind was just a movie. A movie made in Culver City, by Jews.”

Why do so many people think the South is some magical place? There is nothing unique about it and whatever cultural distinctions you believe exist are not exclusive to the area, except perhaps the high teen pregnancy rate, high obesity rates, bad schools, and overt racism characterized as part of the southern identity.

Teacher

May 19th, 2011
11:22 am

Sorry Rod, I disagree. I love his show. Isn’t America great? We have the freedom to choose what we watch.

I have a theory that people who call our President “Barry” have tiny pee pees and there mothers did not raise them with manners or respect.

@Gob

May 20th, 2011
12:56 pm

Gob, your comments about the South seem somewhat bigoted and narrow minded. Granted, there is nothing unique or magical about the South. Your comment that “you just do things a little slower” wreaks of bigotry and ignorance on your part. I am not awrae of anything empirical to back up your bogus claim. As far as overt racism, I have been in Maine, California, Massachusetts, and Ohio and I have seen more overt racism than I have ever seen in the South. As far as bad schools, based on standardized test scores, are in Washington D.C. Maybe you need to become better educated before you hurl out ignorant opinions.

Denialawareness

May 20th, 2011
7:32 pm

@@Gob, It sounds as though you have not been out of “the South” for a sufficient time in order to see the Southern cultural distinctions that others can point to. With regard to “overt racism,” I have yet to observe any Ku Klux Klan events anywhere other than in the South. I’m sure that the high obesity rates and teen pregnancy rates can be verified statistically and explained by diet, lack of exercise, and the popularity of anti-choice views. As for “bad schools,” that’s just subjective. One thing is, Bill Maher is a comedian, so perhaps you could try to find the humour rather than simply being offended and making sullen self-righteous comments.

carole del monte

May 20th, 2011
7:57 pm

Bill’s so intelligent & a man of reason. His standup is so much more than what we naturally think of as standup comedy. He doesn’t just knock the jokes out, but makes a statement & says what we’re thinking. The guy’s a breath of fresh air.

Gary Geier

May 20th, 2011
11:07 pm

Just watched your lame show. The big news today was the dissing of our President by the zionest PM of Israel. When is the US going to find out who is really ruling us?
WAKE UP BILL BEFORE THE INTERNAL WAR BEGINS..

Tom Fralic

May 20th, 2011
11:42 pm

Hey Bill – David Spade looks like Ellen DeGeneres – 20 years from now! (bada bomp omp tish) as for tonites show – What’s the big deal with that Tiger lady she treats her kids like my adoptive mom treated me.

Ted Moore

May 21st, 2011
12:24 am

I just watched the 5/20/11 real time show with Zach Galifianakis and Bill pretending to to inject heroin into Zachs arm and then Zach passing out. When Zach lit up a joint several months ago on the show that was okay and comical and heralded a social keypoint that marijuana should be legalized. But this skit went well beyond good taste, knowing the effects of heroin and health hazard drugs such as heroin. There was so many more things that Bill and Zach could have come up with instead of such as this skit. Heroin and hard drugs have affected members of my family and ruined their lives, as well as countless other victims over the years. There is nothing funny or comical about heroin. Bill almost needs a good taste task group of reviewers before the shows are aired to prevent such skits as this. What were the benefits and value of such skits to change society. I appreciate Bill’s humor and watch every show. I don’t agree with all of his jokes and skits, but it is rare that I feel compelled to write a review regarding poor skits such as this. Thanks

eastbayboy

May 21st, 2011
3:28 am

ok, to the people like sean saying that the south isnt different from the rest of the country….
i live in ca, and have been to fl, ga, tx, sc, mo. and in EVERY one of the southern states ive been too, i have seen segregated communities, and i hear non-black people complaining about the ‘canadians’ (the code word for blacks, at least in ga) they have to live next to. The thing is, the only people who defend the south’s unexcusable behaivior and attitude are the white folk that live there.Thankfully, i dont live in such a backward part of the world.

jenna storey

May 21st, 2011
2:22 pm

I STRONGLY ditto-ize the comments of the …”.escaped” person:adolescent, easily intimidated is Maher. I have always resented stereotypical comments he makes to those differently pigmented from himself, or people who don’t share his ding-dong status (shlong-sharers) A bigot, is a bigot, is a bigot- and I should know ’cause I is from duh souf! ‘Scuse me as I have a grit,(grits???) stuck between my “eatin’ teeth”.

jenna storey

May 21st, 2011
2:24 pm

…..Especially the”homely white-boy part!”

heinzel

May 22nd, 2011
10:40 am

@escaped from email purgatory – I think the reason he has a potty mouth is because he smokes pot. Most people who smoke pot end up enhancing their language to enjoy the buzz. I don’t believe he does the show high, but I do believe he gets a high from doing the show. Thus, because he is allowed to curse he is able to bring himself to a higher mental state of mind that produces a very highly focused, very high quality, highly informative, highly commical, highly high high…. wait what was I talking about?

Sean

May 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

Gob, I’m happy you could find a quote of Maher (I assume it’s real) not slaughtering the South, but the truth is, every time I’ve watched his show and the South comes up, he gets very stereotypical about our area of the world, and it drips with a condescending tone.

I don’t think the South is a paradise, but I do know that if John Rocker went to NYC for a show, he would be performing in front of a small group of people who only came to shower him with disapproval. Maher will sell out this show, even after constant shots at those same people.

christopher Michael

May 22nd, 2011
5:45 pm

Mr Maher,
Its a great thing in America to have free speech and to be able to share your voice with the rest of the world in any verbal manner you would like. I can only voice mine in hatred as i watched a clip of yourself making fun of the murders that took place at ruby ridge. Its almost comical how you portray yourself as a liberal yet the murder of an american family brings a smile to your face. I hope one day that karma finds you and is as brutal to you as the goverment was to the peaceful folks at ruby ridge. Thank you for your time and your no talent tv show that takes up valuable air time.

kitty

May 22nd, 2011
6:17 pm

some people on here are saying that Bill Maher is smug; that’s the pot calling the kettle black. Obviously these people on here are republican. And as we all know, republicans are smug; it’s a political/character flaw of theirs. The problem is that they have nothing to be smug about. If anyone is going to be smug, he/she should have a good reason for being so, like actually having contributed in some noteworthy way to society, or actually being right about something.

railroadjames

May 23rd, 2011
12:35 am

Ever wonder why anyone in their right mind would contemplate being President of the United States? Seems to be a thankless job with umpteen knowitalls bad mouthing you. Danged if ya do & danged if ya don’t.

J. Powell

May 23rd, 2011
11:58 am

The comments you thought were so clever and funny on your Friday night show 5/20/11, were not funny and were not appropriate. Several years ago a chimp did ruin the face of a woman and it has horrible. I’m not sure she even survived. Face-eating-chimp remarks are nothing to laugh about. You owe an apology to all who knew her.

liberalcynic

May 23rd, 2011
2:59 pm

I like Bill. I don’t agree with him a lot, and as a libertarian, I take offense with him thinking saying that he’s a libertarian, but he does ask tough questions every now and then. As far as him swearing on the show and his crude sexual references, there’s a good reason for that: it’s his f**king show. The people who come on are either there purely because they want to, or because they wanna plug something. Either way, they can take a little. I would hate to see Bill changing his style to suit some people