Bill Maher is acerbic and offensive. Hes dry and crass and even the people who agree with him most sometimes want to slap the smug grin off his Hollywood-elite face. Before he got his first television show in 1993, by the way, he appeared occassionally on Murder She Wrote and starred in a few B-movies. (Pizza Man was not ahead of its time.) But, for a certain portion of libertarian-leaning leftists, Bill Maher speaks the Truth in a way nobody else with a platform like his will. Love him or hate him, he is perhaps the Lefts only effective answer to the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters of the world, and he does it in the style of a 1960s Hugh Hefner. What he says makes sense to a lot of people: Pot? Legalize it. Two wars? End them. Planet Earth? Lets not destroy it. The disgustingly rich Wall Street fucks who profited most from Americas economic woes? Tax them or string them from a building as a warning, and then tax them. But before Bill Maher became one of the most powerful opinion makers in America today, before the documentary, before the TV shows and the moviesbefore all of that, Bill Maher was a guy with a microphone standing in front of an audience. He was a stand-up comedian with a few things to say about how he saw the world. And no matter how successful he gets, he never stops being that stand-up comedian.
Sat., May 28, 8 p.m., 2011