Bill Maher Won’t Play College Gigs Anymore: ‘They Don’t Want to Hear Anything They Don’t Agree With’

Not that he has anything against young people
Bill Maher Won’t Play College Gigs Anymore: ‘They Don’t Want to Hear Anything They Don’t Agree With’

In the latest edition of the I Need To Speak To Your Manager… er, Club Random podcast, Bill Maher once again hitched up his slacks and railed against the insolence of today’s young people. You gotta love Maher when he channels his inner Paul Lynde. 

Guest Ray Romano set Maher off when he explained that he rarely played the college circuit when he started his stand-up career. “Yeah, me neither!” Maher interrupted. “And now, it’s unthinkable.”

Romano agreed that Maher might be, shall we say, divisive on a college campus, optimistically predicting that “you would have half this way and half this way.” 

Give Maher credit — he knows far fewer than half would be on his side. Students at Just About Any University “would protest before I even got on the campus,” he said. “I was uninvited when I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Berkeley graduation (in 2014). And then re-invited. But today, are you kidding?” 

“These kids? The first thing they would do is try to get me thrown (out),” complained Maher, sounding like a disgruntled dad despite famously opting out of parenthood. “They don’t want to hear anything they don’t already agree with. They don’t want their minds pried open. And you know what? Let somebody else do it.”

But don’t worry, kids, Maher will still pontificate for those of you who want to hear his Privileged White Guy lectures. “I’ll do it from my perch here in L.A.,” Maher graciously offered. “I’ll be a little white tower about this one.” 

Well, Maher does moan about young people a lot on his show, Romano reminded him, a nice way of saying that students have a right to be pissed off about Club Random’s dismissive, condescending attitude. 

Maher protested that he has nothing against people in their 20s, despite complaining that they won’t listen to their elders 30 seconds earlier. “I love kids. There’s a exuberance that you cannot quench. There’s a love of life and of possibility,” he gushed before exposing his inevitable but. “But I’m not going to hold my tongue when they embrace stupid ideas.”

From here, Maher built a straw man student with which to argue. 

STRAW MAN STUDENT: You’re old now.

MAHER: Okay. So you put zero amount of thinking into the actual point I’m making. You didn’t engage with the actual idea. If you did that, I would respect you.

STRAW MAN STUDENT: You’re old. Get off my lawn.

MAHER: Oh, wow. You learned a cliche about age. And you noticed I’m a lot older than you, but what about the idea?

STRAW MAN STUDENT: Let’s bring back communism.

MAHER: I think it’s a bad idea. Maybe because I remember what happened the first time, and you don’t care to learn. But somehow I’m the asshole.

Exactly! When a pompous podcast host makes up ridiculous arguments for imaginary opponents — congrats on winning that one-sided debate, by the way — that makes Maher the asshole. 


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