Bill Maher Does Best Impression of Angry White Man
Sunday night was the first time I witnessed a performer getting an instant standing ovation before uttering a single syllable. The performer in question was not a rock star, but rather a comic. (Though some may argue he is a rockstar of comedy. True, but I give the title of the ultimate comedic rockstar to Russell Brand, but that’s for another day). He was in fact Bill Maher – host of Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO and former host of politically incorrect. The show was essentially Maher being Maher and a way for his fans to see him in real time.
While Maher doesn’t take the same risks that some his British contemporaries might – Lee Evans, Eddie Izzard, etc – he doesn’t have to. He does have a certain edge to him though, and mixes equal parts arrogance, intelligence, profanity with of course, sex, drugs, politics, and religion. In a way Maher could be described as an observational comedian – such as Jay Leno – but I would lump in more with George Carlin and Lewis Black types – more emotional, angry and fiercely intelligent.
Vancouver was the perfect venue for Maher – and the atheistic, liberal, pot-smoking sodomites came out in droves. His “issue comedy” was right at home at the Queen Elizabeth (Rob Ford seemed to get the biggest applause). Perhaps the only time there was a smattering of dissent was when Maher brought up his support for the death penalty. I guess that’s not so big here in Canada. But Bill doesn’t care what you think. In fact he most likely encourages disagreement and debate (if his TV show is anything to go by).
His routine can go to extremes and sometimes take a specific topic too far. Whereas in other mediums that might be seen as a negative, in comedy it is pure gold. He even showed off his knowledge of Canada, commenting on the aforementioned fatso crackhead Rob Ford, as well as Stephen Harper, and Canada’s more liberal policies (generally). It was a grand time for funny.
Real Time With Bill Maher airs Friday’s on HBO Canada.