Locating le mot juste to describe Bill Maher can be taxing, like trying to order a pizza with your two buddies, the vegan and the Teamster. The 54-year-old Maher's loyal fans might label him provocative visionary, perhaps even prophet.
Othersânamely George W. Bush and the evangelists Maher taunted in his 2008 God-denying documentary Religulousâmight start with putz.
We'll just take the easy way out and refer to the host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher as controversial. But here are a couple of indisputables: Though he might not admit it, Maher costarred with Mr. T and Gary Busey in 1983's D.C. Cab. He's also logged many an hour partying at the Playboy Mansion.
Starting this month, his showâwith its psychedelic mix of guests, including Salman Rushdie and Ashton Kutcherâwill air Fridays on HBO (an hour earlier, at 9 p.m.). Another big change is afoot: That commitment allergy of his seems to have been cured, and all it took was some love and heavy metals.
BILL MAHER: Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie. You didn't see bare midriffs in the late '60s on TV. I think it was only allowed because she wasn't human. She was vapor, and of course you can't fuck vapor.
BM: I was engaged to a woman who whizzed a pool ball right at my head. It could have killed me.
BM: No, this was in my dining room, where I had my pool table at the time
BM: Well, that's true.
BM: There was a girl I was crazy about my senior year of high school, and I visited her at college. We slept in the same bed, but I was intimidated by her, so I didn't try anything. I was too young and dumb to understand that women want you to take the lead. I never made that mistake again. I think with women, once you blow it once like that, you're out. And if you watch any of those old shows like Elimidate, you see that it's the asshole who wins or comes close. The shy one's always eliminated first.
BM: No. I was never a guy who had the facility to cold-talk to a girl. Even up to age 30, I was still making friends with guys who could do that. I think one of the reasons people want to be famous is that it's finally a solution to that problem. At a certain point, you no longer have to say, 'Hi, I'm so and so' to a girl.
BM: No, because I think who I am is what I am. If a woman wanted someone for superficial reasons, there are people younger, cuter, and richer than me.
BM: Warren Beatty was the hardest-working. If he wanted to get a woman, he'd just work at it endlessly. He never acted like he was great looking, rich, or famous, which of course he was. He acted like a guy who had to work really hard.
BM: I've never been a worker. If it doesn't happen easily, I've never had the patience to be there for the long haul, especially when women withhold sex. If you're attracted to a man and you're having a good time with him, take it to the next level. To me, when a woman withholds sex, it's like she's saying, "I have nothing else that could possibly interest you, so I have to embargo my vagina." All this is moot now that I have a girlfriend. Hopefully I'm over ever having to date again.
BM: I'm not saying I'm getting married. I'm just saying I have a steady girlfriendâand you have to think it's going to last. And we share the same beliefs: We don't believe in God, marriage, or living together.
BM: No, I like piercings. I find them sexy almost everywhere they are. And if you've never been blown by a girl with a tongue ring, you're missing something. There's just something about metal.
BM: This didn't make me stop, but years ago when I was on Politically Incorrect, a very attractive girl on the road ended up in my hotel room. While we were doing it, she said, "Will you sing something to me?" I realized she thought I was a singer.
BM: I don't know exactly. Apart from that instance, women wouldn't typically go to bed with me just because I was famous without any idea what I was famous for.
BM: I don't know if he could have saved himself, but he could have made it better if he'd just owned up to the whole thing right away. That's the only thing you can do in America. David Letterman proved that. He showed everybody what to do when you get caught. You get it out there and call yourself creepy before anyone else can. And the same thing with Bill Clinton. He should have just come out and said, "I fell off the wagon. It happens to married people. A lot of you out there have gone through the same thing and know how hard it is to keep a marriage together for decades.' I don't know if John Edwards could have saved his career. But he could have said, "I'm sorry, I feel terrible about it, but I made a baby.'
BM: It's in politicians' default mode to always lie about something like that because it's such a deal breaker with the American public. It shouldn't be. We should be more like France or some sophisticated European country. Clinton's first instinct, too, was deny deny deny. But that's a gamble, because if the truth does come out and you're shown to be a liarâthen you're really gone.
BM: Way less than most Americans were disappointed by it. I find America to be such a childish nation when it comes to its puritanical sexual views. Let me tell you something. John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer are two guys that the Democratic party and the country could really use right now. Edwards' big issue was poverty in America. And Eliot Spitzer was the Sheriff of Wall Street. And why did they get drummed out? Because they got their winkie dinks caught in the cookie jar. So what! When so many people in this country face the same issues, it's so hypocritical to say these guys can't be in public life. I understand it's not admirable to cheat on your wife, but the question that I've always asked about someone who's been married a long time and who gets caught cheating on his wife is, What do you want this person to do? To me, there are only a few alternatives. One: cheat. Two: dump your wife and marry a trophy wife. Is that really better? The third option seems to be, just suck it up and suffer. You haven't had sex with your wife in years, so you should just go through your life in this sexless, miserable existence. None of these are good options, but to me it's unrealistic to think the "suck it up and lead a sexless life' option is ever going to happen.
BM: Whatever goes on in the minds of these conservatives sexually is driven so deep underground that when it does finally surface, it's usually a lot weirder than what normal people do. Hannity criticizes me for being a libertarian but secretly wishes he were me. What a man thinks about when he masturbates tells you more about who he is than anything. I think what you'd see in the minds of both these guys would make you want to put a bullet past your tongue.
BM: Not as much of an issue. But the idea that my mother would have ever breastfed me in public is unimaginable.
BM: Is it a big deal? No. But donât they have changing rooms and bathrooms?
BM: Thatâs ridiculous. Somebody being witty has no effect on if I want to sleep with them. I donât think I got laid during my first two years at Cornell, and even then, when I was horniest, I never went to bed with an unattractive woman because I was drunk. My method was to go home, masturbate, and plot to get better women.
BM: Believe me, I have never slept with Ann Coulter. I couldnât go to bed with someone as politically abhorrent. First of all, conservatives are conservative sexually, and I donât think they even have casual sex. I have no idea how James Carville and Mary Matalin do it.
BM: I agree. But Iâve never wanted any of that tying-up stuff. I would never want a womanâs hands tied. I want them on me.