Bill Maher

49
Bill Maher bigraphy, stories - American comedian, writer

Bill Maher : biography

January 20, 1956 –

William "Bill" Maher, Jr. ( born January 20, 1956) is an American stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, satirist, author, and actor. Before his current role as the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher hosted a similar late-night talk show called Politically Incorrect, originally on Comedy Central and later on ABC.

Maher is known for his sarcastic attitude, political satire and sociopolitical commentary, which targets a wide swath of topics including religion, politics, bureaucracies of many kinds, political correctness, the mass media, greed among people and persons in positions of high political and social power, and the lack of intellectual curiosity in the electorate.

Maher supports the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage. His critical views of religion were the basis for the 2008 documentary film Religulous. He serves on the board of PETA and is an advisory board member of Project Reason. In 2005, Maher ranked at number 38 on Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time.. Comedy Central. April 4, 2005 Bill Maher received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star on September 14, 2010.

Career

Early career

Maher began his career as a stand-up comedian and actor. He was host of the New York City comedy club Catch a Rising Star in 1979. Maher began appearing on Johnny Carson’s and David Letterman’s shows in 1982. He made limited television appearances including a recurring role in Sara (1985), appeared in Max Headroom (1987), two separate appearances on Murder, She Wrote (1989, 1990), a recurring role in Charlie Hoover (1991) and other productions. His feature film debut was in D.C. Cab (1983). He later appeared in Ratboy (1986), Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1988), and Pizza Man (1991), among others.

Television career

Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

Maher assumed the host role on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, a late-night political talk show that ran on Comedy Central from 1993 to 1997 and on ABC from 1997 to 2002. The show regularly began with a topical monologue by Maher preceding the introduction of four guests, usually a diverse group of individuals from show business, popular culture, political pundits, political consultants, authors, and occasionally news figures. The group would discuss topical issues selected by Maher, who also participated in the discussions. Jerry Seinfeld, a regular guest on the show, stated that Politically Incorrect reminded him of talk shows from the 1950s and 60s "when guests interacted with each other as much as with the host."

Politically Incorrect won an array of awards, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Technical Direction, two CableACE awards for Best Talk Show Series, and a Genesis Award for Best Television Talk Show. Maher earned numerous award nominations for his producing, writing and hosting of Politically Incorrect, including ten Emmy nominations, two TV Guide nominations, and two Writers Guild nominations. ABC decided against renewing Maher’s contract for Politically Incorrect in 2002, after he made a controversial on-air remark shortly after the September 11 attacks. He agreed with his guest, conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza, that the 9/11 terrorists did not act in a cowardly manner (in rebuttal to President Bush’s statement calling 9/11 hijackers cowards). Maher said, "We have been the cowards. Lobbing cruise missiles from two thousand miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building. Say what you want about it. Not cowardly. You’re right." Maher later clarified that his comment was not anti-military in any way whatsoever, referencing his well-documented longstanding support for the American military. After receiving complaints, FedEx and Sears Roebuck pulled their advertisements from the show, costing the show significant revenue.