Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bill Maher Live "I'm Turned-Off"

I've been a big fan of the HBO series, "Bill Maher Live" for the past year.  I've gotten behind the majority of his political rhetoric on daily current events because somehow, I felt that the POV (point-of-view) was coming from him, and that he was in some way helping different causes and getting people motivated to do something other than complain!

I have to report that I'm disappointed and turned-off now, because last Thursday I decided to go to the CBS studios to see the rehearsal of the Bill Maher Live show, and last night I watched the live broadcast which of course contained some of the material that he did at the rehearsal. 

As I watched the final broadcast of the season last night, for the first time I saw someone very different from the Bill Maher image that I thought I knew.  I saw a man that was an artist in presenting Liberal political views, outlandish and crude statements, along with his "New Rules," as it is: a mathematical formula produced by Hollywood. 

When Bill repeated some material from the rehearsal monologue in the live broadcast as if it never rolled-off his lips before, I just saw the whole show in a different light.  For sure, I saw an artist, but one that is so mathematically programmed, smooth, and convincing, and it turned-me off!

His big guests last night were Queen Noor and Oliver Stone.  When interviewing each of them individually, what I may have overlooked prior to the rehearsal show, I clearly saw last night.  A man that insulted his guests and really showed little respect.  He constantly interrupted Oliver Stone and in my opinion he was really out-of-line with Queen Noor.

Unfortunately, I don't think that I will see the Bill Maher Live show the way I saw it before.  Now I see a pawn that is used by big business, politicians, and the Hollywood money moguls, used for mental masturbation in a ploy to control the masses by providing hot-button topics that will get the viewers at home heated, allowing them to "get-off" pent-up anger, fear, and emotion. 

The control mechanism that I see is deliberate response rhetoric, and we the public are like Pavlovian subjects, predictable and therefore, controlled.  Perhaps by letting off-steam by yelling and cursing at the TV set, we don't feel it necessary to take action and go out in the world as a group to stand-up to the things that are upsetting us. 

Bill will be off the air until September, so I have some time to ponder about what I'm saying here, and I'll probably tune-in then, to see if perhaps I can wear my rose-colored glasses again!


  1. I couldn't agree more. While I was entertained, I saw a Hollywood formula being acted out by an actor.

  2. Very interesting observations Christina! Having seen Bill live on stage during one of his unrecorded, non-glossy shows - just being real with the audience - I have to say that he was brilliant. While he had notes with him, which he apologized for, saying that there was so much wrong with the Bush administration that he needed to keep it all straight - and he launched into some of the best intellectual thought provoking commentary/comedy that I have ever seen/heard - except, of course, for the king of intellectual comedy George Carlin. I was also not ready for his appearance - no shiny suits and slicked back hair - he had on pretty worn jeans and a slightly wrinkled shirt. So, which is the real Bill? I think to some extent to maintain a television show in the top ratings you have to give people what they want and what the bosses at HBO want - Tis better to get your message out than not at all. I agree with you on Noor - but she knew what she was walking into and I think she handled him well. A friend who is a big fan of HBOs True Blood, has been pretty upset that the creator Alan Ball is not being true to the charactors the way they were portrayed in the books, and she wonders why the author allows him to "mess" with her characters......and my answer to her was simple "money". I would be very upset if he turned out to be just an actor spewing out what HBO wants so I guess this could be one of those "one hand washes the other" situations that enable him to do his real stuff off of HBO because he can. I would love it if you could see him live in a small venue like I did and then we can compare notes.