Bill Maher Is Taking His Many, Many, Many Bad Opinions to CNN
Well, you can’t say CNN didn’t warn us. The struggling cable news source is dipping its toe into late-night comedy, adding Bill Maher and his polarizing hot takes to a regular slot on Friday nights. All this despite The Hollywood Reporter reminding us that “Maher is not a journalist.” Gee, you think?
Has Greg Gutfeld really set the bar this low? There have to be better options for news-centric comics (and CNN knows it, still trying to lure Jon Stewart for a regular slot). So why Maher? After all, Cracked has devoted plenty of virtual ink to the Awfulness That Is Bill Maher. Here’s an all-too-brief rundown of some of his greatest 'hits':
- Only six days after 9/11, agreed with Politically Incorrect panelist and professional troll Dinesh D’Souza that terrorists were warriors and “we have been the cowards”;
- Insulted comedy nice guy Wayne Brady by invoking his name when denigrating Barack Obama’s Blackness, prompting Brady to offer to “slap the shit” out of Maher (while noting that Maher wasn’t an expert “just because you f*ck Black hookers”);
- Told Senator Ben Sasse that he couldn’t work the fields in his state because he was a “house n-word”;
- Upon Stan Lee’s death, Maher clarified his comic book criticism: “I’m not glad Stan Lee’s dead, I’m sad (comic fans) are alive”;
- Doubled down on his spite for overweight people: “Fat shaming doesn’t need to end, it needs to make a comeback.”
There’s more (heck, there are at least 67 more) but placing its bets on Bill Maher is unlikely to be a winning hand for CNN. Is it after social relevancy? The guy’s nearly 70, a comic who was last considered “edgy” around 1993 when he was prowling the Playboy Mansion for companionship. Late-night hilarity? When is the last time you heard someone repeat a Maher joke, except for offering a rationale for their disdain?
The real answer might be that last bastion of American journalism, corporate synergy. New CNN overlord Warner Bros. Discovery has been on a major cost-cutting jag to appease shareholders, shelving a completed Batgirl movie and axing popular streamers like Westworld and Minx. To save money, CNN programming has been showing up on Discovery+ and HBOMax, and since turnabout is profitable play, HBO mainstay Maher will walk across the hall to spew his idiocy in the name of shared savings.
The only good news? Tucked away in the nearly empty world of late-late Friday night cable, Maher will likely be spitting into the cord-cutting void.