Bill Maher most candid interview ever! george stroumboulopoulosMay 31, 2021
right three program Bill Maher Oh, congratulations, but Julia came to the United States, well, yeah, I'm very jealous in Canada. I haven't left Canada, man, you doing both? I can't leave, no, let me tell you there are some people in Canada looking for you like LeBron James, let them feel like that, that's fine too, but our gang. I was thinking about you in terms of the career that you've been in in real time, that politically incorrect entity, could you
everimagine that this is the place where you would like Right now you've found this network and from this interesting moment, well , we actually recorded in the studio we're in now, which is very strange, yeah, and I've been in the same lot that we recorded, we took the politically correct thing. here we take real time here I was on this lot when I was with Comedy Central I was with ABC and now with HBO and I have the same office on the same phone number because I'm a gangsta, does it feel different at all to you?
It's a different show, you know, I mean, politically incorrect, it was fun for what it was, but it was a design train wreck or, well, first of all, it was five nights a week for the guests, it was 20 people who They talked about politics, well, there aren't any. There are 20 people in America who know little about politics, much less that they could appear on my show. Well, the program we do now is once a week. It's really for smart people, not just those who like it. I might pretend if I see this politically correct. It's a really smart panel and you know there are a lot fewer celebrities.
We used to have a lot of celebrities. All you had to do to be politically incorrect was breathe and have some kind of fame, but back then, employees. time, yes I really am smart, in the politically incorrect, I started, there were a lot less celebrities out there, like the advent of reality television, yeah sure, the way reality tells us has changed now, we're all famous for eight seconds, yeah, I guess if you count those people like I mean, I don't mean, I read the tabloids, I admit it, because I need to relax. I wish half of these people I have no idea who are even sitting there on the cover.
I don't know who this person is because you are a reality person, right? If you don't follow that world that you know of people throwing drinks in each other's faces, you don't know who these people are, can you understand a culture based on who they determine is famous at the moment? time, I think that's the intelligent observation. I think people know that's true. What do people love? What does a society worship? And you can understand our culture is superficial. You know we are proud of it. That is what we are. We have to own that, it's where you found your way by Jon Stewart, there are these great Tavis Smileys who still do it their way, there is this group of people who have been able to find real ground by not having to be superficial of course , because it is a big country, there are more than 300 million people in this country.
I always say there's a big smart European country in America, it's just surrounded by a bunch of rednecks, but of course, I mean, like a European country, you know, like Germany, France, England, those countries are. like 60 to 80 million people, we have 60 to 80 million smart people, not that
everyone in those countries is smart either, but we just have more people. Can you find a way to make those disparate opinions and values work together? Obviously, you already know that. We have a lot of paralysis in our government, you know, obviously we can't do that anymore, it's a real shame.
I mean, the two parties always had different governing philosophies, but they found ways to work together and there were things they could find in common. ground with that no longer exists and it's not their fault either one of the parties is a group of knuckle draggers, I won't say which one, but the blame is not distributed in the same way as the middie would like to portray it and it is partly La blame the media because they are also not very bright and promote things like false equivalencies which are wrong, we should blame where it is until the truth is discovered.
There is a political moment if you want to play this clip, but only with one of the all-time greats in sight now they are not even trying to hide it the owners of the country have bought their electors elections they said we are going to get this election who put you in that? cut for a reason now that's for you now yeah, forget everything that's owed well, that's something I loved about George Carlin, he wasn't afraid to do that's what
mostpeople are afraid to do, You know, politicians will always say if only we had one government. as good as the people, our big problem is that we have exactly a government as good as the people, our democracy is very representative.
I mean, we get to elect these people and these are the people we put in office, so it goes back to the people who come there are very easily fooled and are horribly misinformed about everything and the people who watch Fox News live In a bubble that I can't even describe to you, data never enters, it's like an airlock. In an alien movie, you know you can't let the alien in or you have to blow up the ship, that's really the situation we have in this country. Do you find it difficult to pass legislation that means something if people don't?
They don't understand what's in it, they still don't understand what's in Obamacare, they still don't know what it is and we passed it three years ago, so this is because there's an intellectual impasse that's going on, is there a way around it? Well, no Quick Fix I mean, I think I would start with education, but we don't really focus on that. In this country we don't have the feeling that we are all in this together. for itself, the philosophy that governs this country much more than
mostother Western democracies and that is not a good thing for a country because every country asked, every modern country is now a quasi-socialist country, that is not a bad word , but in the United States, when you say socialist, you know. most people don't know what it means, they just know it's something super bad like pedophilia or atheism or something, something we can't say while doing nothing but taking money from the government, there are immigrants who hate socialism , but they live. in Social Security Medicare Medicaid gave farm subsidies unemployment benefits all this money but they hate socialism this is a natural place for a country at this age you know it's not the young people like you say we're teenagers, yes and we're as bright as one I'm just saying it may be like a reactionary that Canada is about to enter that space too, right, we don't have the same history which is certainly part of it, I mean civilizations.
They literally grow up, I mean, Europe is the old civilization and in some ways they're jaded and that's not great and in some ways they're exhausted and decadent and there's energy here that maybe you don't have in the old world, but they also have that kind of wisdom and cunning and they understand that they are not enthusiastic about my God, we are becoming a socialist country, what if it works? That's all that matters, let's do what works and how much. Is this guy the version of you who has not only a strong belief system but also the ability to stay out of it and what you say and come out and say is from your father, father and mother?
I would say they were both politicians. Father certainly made a living at that, yeah, which was different, you know, I mean, he was a journalist in the days of radio news, when there was breaking news radio news on every radio station and it's kind of what we talked about at home, which I think was different than most kids, I mean, I think most American families, if they have dinner together, if families are together, they probably watch TV at dinner or talk reality shows or whatever. I don't think about those things. that your parents would have talked about the things that you would have seen in your life growing up where you did, yeah, I remember the riots in Chicago when, even though the Democratic convention was there in 1968, I was a big time, I was 12, yeah, um, I remember the Summer of Love and then '68 was like the summer of hate, it was the complete opposite, everything turned out, you know, the people who were on drugs were now incomplete characters, they were in the gutter and they overdosed and then the police beat people. and the country was turning on each other, it was a fun time, murders, right, that would certainly leave a mark in some way or at least put a filter through which you could see the government or the institutions, doctor, I know our time is up um but I hope we can address this next week because I think we're making great progress, that's what I'm looking for. um no, but is it true?
I mean, I heard stories where we alluded to your father having left the church at one point because he didn't agree with telling that truth the best day of my life was when I found out that we don't have to go to church anymore yeah, I had 13 years old I put this in the
interviewwith my mother for my religion documentary about Religulous and you know, I wanted to ask her on camera because I never really understood this why we stopped going to church and why your mother never went to Juba why I knew At this point in my life I knew that she was Jewish but I never knew it when I was a child, you know, we were Catholic, my father, my sister and I were Catholic, we went to church every Sunday, I had to go to catechism, do all That nonsense, my mother stayed home and I never asked why, you know?
I was like she had to take care of the dog. I was so petrified by Church that she wasn't thinking about anything else and I said, do you know why you didn't tell me when she was younger and she said, well, yeah? I don't think it was my place, you know, it's just that the mentality back then was very different and I thought, but you were Catholic, why did your memory hurt? She wanted to help me with catechism and she said, well, you know how we thought. Back then it was better to have some religious training than none, right?
You know, it doesn't matter what the religion is, as long as you believe in nonsense of some kind, that's the important thing, it even worked in some of your acts, let's remember this. Now, oh God, yes, I was formally raised Catholic, although I must say that the Jewish mind emerges even in the Catholic system, setting an example. We used to confess and I would bring a lawyer with me. That's my first time on television. Yes, Johnny Carson. 1982, but what was going through your mind before, uh, that my pants were too tight, you were nervous at all and I, Morris, we're all nervous because we know that's like high school, if you don't pass that test, you don't continue.
Yes, and if you do it right, you may have a career in show business and you are legitimized. If you don't do it right, there's really nothing for you because any other show you would do would be to prepare that show for Tonight. It shows that the stakes were high, but it's a piece of cake, I mean, compared to what we've been working on in clubs, you know, where the crowd can be very difficult and drunk and booing, and now you're with Johnny. . Carson, who set you up, you know we found a fabulous, convenient young man and you're going to love him and he's a very hard commodity and you know everything that bully would say every time it's hard to find that there was a new one. every week he couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a comic in those days, but if you did it right, you know you have to keep going.
I mean, the mistake people made at that time was thinking that he had made you a star. That's when those days are over, I did 30 shows tonight and people still weren't very well known until I got my own show, but I could get you your own show, which is a late night show, that's the terrain, Bill Maher, right after this , come back here until tomorrow. in the show this has been recorded for so long people always remember what you said you think people will allow you to change your mind and allow you to evolve I am certainly free to evolve yes I am not a politician when you are a politician you cannot evolve you have You have to have exactly the same opinion at 60 that you had at 18 or you're a flip-flop and that's exactly crazy, that's the problem with this, that's what being a human being is all about, I learned it somewhat and yes, now I changed my opinion because I know I have more information what is the biggest change you have had if it is a good question I will give you one how to hunt.
I am a great defender of animal rights. but you know, when I talk to a real hunter they say, well, do you eat meat? I say not very often, but you know, sometimes they do. I mean, I'm not against killing animals, if it's humanely, they kill each other, we're in the same at the top of the food chain, I understand he's saying, would you rather eat something that's been raised on factory farms where Did they torture the animal? Know? Do you think it's better that I can kill an animal in the wild and eat it all?
I'd have to admit that's a preferable method to eating an animal and then keeping it in a pen in its own feces.during all his life. He is aligned with PETA. Would you consider that I mean that dental work can be absolutely important? true, I'm very aligned and D Pete is one of those groups that is an example of when you are a loud group and when you have a strong position, they are there, I mean, they are on the edge and I'm glad that I don't always agree with everything they say or do, but I'm glad that, first of all, animal rights weren't even on the agenda before they existed, so they kind of had to elbow their way into the room because you know that there's no constituency except the constituency of the heart, but fur animals, you know there's no money in them, you know they can't vote right, you know, I mean, I'm kind of related, I understand people. who feel this way about children and feel this way about abortion.
I mean, I'm pro-choice, but I always say you don't have to be religious to be against abortion, for example, if you say, okay, I'm against gay marriage and I think gays are evil that It comes from the Bible that's nonsense but you can be an atheist and understand that you know a child in the womb it's not a child yet but it's becoming one okay I understand that defense of something that is innocent I don't know Sit it there , I feel for animals, that's where I feel that compassion towards animals, so when you, as a kid, had it, that's your deal, you know, I mean, I collected butterflies when I was a little kid, maybe , maybe it's all the blame for that that's what I wonder where the needles are Jesus you're a psychiatrist Orange yes, yes, there was a killing jar, it's true, I was like the adolf eichmann of a clock, I mean, We'd do it, we'd do it, I'd catch them in the damn net, I mean, I was like four or five, right? and you know, I didn't know what I was really doing, except picking up on something that you were following on the MRI, I was following waters, except just following orders and then you put them down. you would pinch the thorax, which was, you know, I guess that would stun them or kill them or whatever and then you would put them in this jar of whatever it was formaldehyde or it's good to have a five year old with a jar full of deadly gas by the way, you know, but then my father would set them up, you know, we hung them on the wall, but maybe I feel guilty because you know we don't see as many butterflies anymore because that's what it was.
I personally didn't kill them all. Look at these people blaming them, so I felt the greatest effect I do. Yes, very good, but bees are becoming extinct. I mean, you know where we are, we are completely destroying the planet. I mean, is it inevitable? Are we just doing what we decide? It's not inevitable, but we would have to reverse it starting like yesterday and we're not even close to getting it right. So, you know? Have I lost all hope? No, but you know. I always say that it is the younger ones who have to be more passionate about this than me.
I'm 57 years old. I've had fun, but in the world, when you're 25, you're the one on the cleanup committee. you're the one who's going to wear a hazmat suit to go down to get the mail get the mail look at me good looking at me getting just gonna be sent to get my mail not getting mail is amazing and seeing guys like Ricky Gervais is Dawkins, even you, when you get into fights with people, especially online, it's the most fun, you know? I struggled a little bit with Twitter at first, but I've really liked it compared to what it was at the beginning, which was, I guess, it's still for most people, which is kind of a trivial retelling of what you're doing. right now, you know, i just watched f-troop and ate a banana, who cares about thoughts? epigrams, I mean, it's something that I think you know Benjamin Franklin would have used.
Do you like to go back and do it with people? 'Cause sometimes you know I gotta be in the mood, yeah when you're in the mood sometimes you're so tough. that they are because you know you can't read it right before you go to bed, there's too much ignorance and hate and it's depressing, it's depressing that people aren't fair, they just want to, you know, attack you, I mean, trust me. I could say good morning on Twitter and there would be 10 immediately in a minute saying if you allow yourself to say good morning Bill Maher Ronald Reagan invented the morning and you're no good at shining his shoes and yeah, I mean they're just I seem contrarian and I mean you really can getting depressed reading the Twitter feed, but I have to remind myself that I don't think it's America necessarily, but it's a part of it, what a pleasure, man, thanks for coming, okay, thanks for having. plus all
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