Bill Maher had nothing more to do than walk out onstage Saturday night at the Majestic Theatre to roaring applause. An audience member screamed, â€œWe love you!â€ Simply, he responded, â€œProve it,â€ and the audience went nuts again.
In a gray t-shirt and jeans, he looked a lot better live than he does on T.V. Cute, even. He began with, â€œ This is the stupidest country ever,â€ and we were off with a slew of jokes about the countryâ€™s latest obsession with Michael Jackson.
Maherâ€™s true talent is weaving commentary and humor together and then sucker punches with a punch line. He talked about Jackson a bit, the media and then went on about never doing jokes about MJ and little boys because there was no proof of that really. â€œHowever, I did a million O.J. killed off his wife jokes,â€ he said and bam, the audience erupted. Throughout the almost two hour show, he had a number of these heat-seeking punch lines that found their target quick and funny like.
Afterward, he went through a checklist of items. He didnâ€™t go on too much about same-sex marriage or gay issues. Despite some random jokes, I was fairly surprised how little he touched on it considering he’s been such a proponent for equal rights. But his list included the obvious:
Barack Obama â€“ â€œIsnâ€™t it great that the coolest guy in the country is also the President? Heâ€™s coming in and spraying Bush-Be-Gone to get the smell of stupid out.â€
Wall Street â€“ â€œWhatâ€™s gayer than Wall Street? One day everythingâ€™s up (in squealed excitement) and the next everythingâ€™s down (crying). They are all a bunch of queens over there!â€ I know some people just like that.
Sarah Palin â€“ â€œWhat I do know about Alaska is they are building the fence on the wrong border.â€
Republicans â€“ â€œThey get mad that Obama can fill a stadium. Republicans can fill a stadium â€“ just like the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.â€
His anti-Republican tirade is hilarious but with joke after joke, it began to get a little wearisome. His cleverness kept it entertaining but hearing much of the same stuff on his show already, it would have been a bit refreshing had he gone with another route of jokes or commentary. The MJ stuff was good (â€œI predicted he would die eight months ago. He was looking a little pale,â€) but Larry Craig jokes, while funny, seemed a bit passÃ© already. The show was good though. What he lacks in flair, he makes up for in scathingly funny perspective.Â Heâ€™s never great but for sure, you wouldnâ€™t get this kind of show at the Improv.
Several hecklers filled the crowd but the most interesting people from my seats were this young couple who shifted uncomfortably through every Republican and Christian joke. A couple of giggles may have escaped them but perhaps they mistook Bill Maher for Bill Gaither. Maybe they decided to venture out of the box and realized itâ€™s a scary world out there.
I would venture to say that’s the same point Maher made throughout his show. Just from the other side of the fence.