Thingish Things

A Prayer for Bill Maher

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Mar• 29•11

I’ve never watched Bill Maher.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I must have seen him at least once, because something made me develop an immediate and visceral dislike for the guy. If I see him on a television screen, I avert my eyes and change the channel. If I saw him walking down the street, I’d cross to the opposite sidewalk. If I was in a foxhole with him, I’d turn him out.

I would normally be ashamed to admit something like that  because my grandmothers taught me never to say anything bad about anyone, and they meant it. But reading about Maher’s recent stand up “comedy” routine instills some confidence in me that, not only might both grandmother’s shower forgiveness on me from heaven for speaking candidly  about my feelings for Maher, but they might even offer quiet encouragement. Because they also taught me to be polite to girls, and Maher is anything but.

Maher has taken to calling Sarah Palin the “C” word in his stand-up routine. Evidently he finds this funny, or thinks others will. It’s the worst thing you can call a woman, and Maher evidently relishes in it.

Maher could never get away with saying that on his television show, even given HBO’s politics and standards. He’d be hounded off the air in a week. So he saves the truly vile stuff in his heart for the stage, where he can hide behind the guise of Lenny-Bruce comedic freedoms.

Brave Democratic columnist Kirsten Powers — she’s one of the most free-thinking minds in America today — has taken Maher to task for his previous vulgarity aimed at Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachman, but he pretty much gets away with it from everyone else on his side of the aisle.

Sarah Palin may be disliked by the Left — and by a good chunk of the Right — but I cannot think of a single liberal friend who would be okay with Maher’s excessively crude word choice. So why don’t prominent leaders on the Left say something about Maher?

Yes, we on the Right have our jackass moments, too. Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter can say stupid and hurtful things, and they say them to be mean. But the “C” word? C’mon. Someone of note on the Left has to say something.  That type of language cannot be allowed to become de rigueur in American politics.

My grandmothers would say I need to pray for Maher. And so I will.  I pray that as soon as the pencil-necked, pasty-faced, waxed-nose ass of a human being is yanked off the air, he catches a cold hard glimpse of the ungentlemanly horror that is he in the mirror and becomes immediately inspired to pursue a path to redemption.

Does that count?


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  1. Your Friend says:

    I suppose I can’t defend Bill for his word choice, but I can’t argue with the sentiment. And he can, and should, hide behind the cloak of the comedians right to push the envelope. It doesn’t always work, and maybe it doesn’t in this context, but comedians are supposed to do this. I haven’t seen the bit and I gather that you haevn’t either, so all of this strikes me as the equivalent of saying a movie is terrible even though you haven’t seeen it. I like Bill Maher. I think his HBO show is the single most thoughtful political program on television. It’s also extremely funny. He gets smart people from both sides of the aisle to think deeply about specific and controversial issues. And then he makes fun of it all with a wit akin to Twain. I’ve watched the ass*oles on the right enough to know them for who they really are — racist hate mongers who have no business commenting on the important political issues of the day. The difference between them and Bill Maher is that they call themselves journalists, whereas he’s an entertainer. Maybe that gives him an unfair advantage when it comes to pushing the envelope, but I don’t think he is using the C word out of hate. Like most comedians, he loves Sarah Palin and would be sorry to see her go. He would have a lot less material without her around.

  2. Me says:

    Dearest Bill,

    If at all possible, darling, we would prefer not to share blog (is that what you children are calling it?) space with the likes of Bill Maher, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter (especially Ann Coulter), Michelle Bachman, or Rush Limbaugh. It’s making us rather woozy.

    All our love,

    Narmie and Mimi

    P.S. It’s Narmie here, Bill. You go, boy!! (Let’s keep this between us, shall we? Eloise might get the vapors.)

    P.P.S. Bill, it’s Mimi. No need to mention this to Carmen, but I do believe the good Lord is applauding you.

  3. We may not be able to discuss Bill Maher, Dwight. But you are right on at least one thing: I have not seen the movie, but I just can’t with Maher in the starring role.

  4. cede says:

    Question of the day: who’s a bigger idiot – “Your Friend” of Bill Maher?

  5. cede says:

    Sorry – fat-fingered the keyboard on that… Should read:

    Question of the day: who’s a bigger idiot – “Your Friend” or Bill Maher?

    • Billy says:

      He’s actually one hell of a great guy, just on the other side. You guys would get along great.

      • cede says:

        Oh c’mon Billy, it was funny! I thought ad hominem name calling was supposed to be funny – would it be funnier if I called him a cunt? OK, fine – Your Friend’s a cunt. Hahahahaha – hilarious!

        • Your Friend says:

          I’m fine being called an idiot, although I appreciate you coming to my defense, Bill. (Curious to note that “cede” still calls you Billy, which is something I have to fight with regularity. So I guess we have both known you for a long time.) The funny thing about these discussions is that we can both maintain our happiness and comfort with the delusion that we still think we’re right. As the old trope goes — there are three Bill O’Reilly’s, the one that you see, the one that everyone else sees, and the one that you really are. Politics is like that too. Neither one of us is right and the truth is somewhere in between. But enough of this diplomatic pablum. As you used to say, Bill — “Stay there. You can stay right where you are.”

          • Me says:

            I thought I was the only one struggling to call him Bill! (Billy, given the ignominy to which your fine name has been subjected in recent years, I’d advise you to retain that point of distinction!)

  6. And that the immortal root is growing on Level One, but that’s a whole other conversation.

    • Your Friend says:

      The wife of my writing partner works at a production company called Level One. Coincidence? I think not.

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