Bill Maher, preeminent political satirist, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s early hit series Politically Incorrect, performed last Friday, July 10th, at Austin’s Bass Concert Hall. Not everyone got to catch Mr. Maher in action, but fortunately Lucas Molandes (of Live at Gotham and Not Just Another Cable News Show) was in attendance to give us the scoop.
I saw Bill Maher last night. Smart, clever, is how you might describe his comedy, and for the most part that’s correct (though he did end on a dick joke about Cialis and how his age affects his fucking — but the guy’s a pro, right?).
Now, I get depressed easily, and it’s in a way that is neurotically grandiose. I’ll explain that.
You know how you feel bummed out when you see cleft-palate kids on those religious infomercials, and then you start thinking about AIDS in Africa and GENOCIDE in Rwanda and all the world is in pain and suddenly all that weight of the world is on your shoulders? And you might say to yourself:
“Oh woe is me, I need to do something about it all, but I’m so weak. Oh poor me for being weak…I’m the real victim in all this!”
Well, maybe you don’t ever feel that way; I envy you. I try to ignore that feeling. I think I just have a tendency to overestimate my importance. Let us move on, back, to Bill Maher.
Smart, clever, but I don’t think half of what he said will still be relevant in 50 years. Which is depressing because he/that/this is where most comedians would like to be: standing in front of thousands of people, saying whatever you want and being applauded for it. But what’s the point? Much of what he said is very ephemeral, and I think, on some level, he has to know that, especially when he opens with 10 minutes on the death of Michael Jackson.
So, what good comes from being a talking-head taking shots at distractions disguised as important. Who’s Mit Romney? I dunno, some guy who’s never impacted my choices. Maher could probably do 30 minutes on him. I understand that politics are important to pundits and to the general public, but only in the same way that celebrities are important to tabloids and to the general public.
I enjoyed the show, but I left sort of thinking he just wanted to show people how clever he is? He needs approval and 80% of the door? Yes, Americans are stupid, comparatively; Yes, Obama is black; Yes, Michael Jackson just died. How does it help, preaching to people who already agree with you?
I understand that it’s just comedy and I shouldn’t place this burden on his shoulders; however, my criticism stems from the fact that Bill Maher has built a reputation as being a truth teller, a voice of reason – and he sells that image for a high price – so it’s incumbent upon him to have the balls to say the things that matter without resorting to dick jokes or OJ murdered his wife jokes.
I’m sure his intentions are good. But you’re not what you intend to do, you’re what you do, and I think most times we spend our days reckoning that gap between who we think we are and what we’ve actually become, that’s if your one of the lucky ones.
Oh well, I imagine that if I think about things long enough I’ll find a reason to not like anything and question the importance of it all. Truth is, for me at least, life moves along, even when you try to step away from it for a while. You can call in sick to life, claiming crisis, but you’re still aging and life is becoming less malleable and the illusion of control gives way to the reality of aging and dying and all that good shit.
Good show, though.