Jiminy Glick Roasts Bill Maher in ‘Real Time’

For better or worse, Glick’s jokes hurt so good
Jiminy Glick Roasts Bill Maher in ‘Real Time’

Jiminy Glick, perhaps Bill Maher’s only rival as the most grating celebrity interviewer, showed up on Real Time this weekend to quiz Maher on his new book, What This Comedian Said Will Shock You. The entertaining interview managed to simultaneously roast Maher without mercy while failing to land blows that drew blood. 

You can’t say that Glick, the obese, oblivious alter-ego of Martin Short, didn’t get off some good lines, though. Here’s a sample of the insults thrown Maher’s way during their 10-minute conversation:

  • “This is going to be so exciting for me! I’m used to interviewing celebrities so this is a nice change of pace.”
  • “You’re in wonderful shape, Bill — for someone who’s let himself go.”
  • “Your smile is like an email from grandma: all caps.”
  • “As an author, is this how you, Bill Burr, see yourself?”
  • “Everyone seems to love your book but why trash Harriet Tubman?”
  • “Your book is a triumph. What do you owe its success to — low expectations?”
  • “I love Bill Maher’s opinions. Like his opinions about the whole COVID thing. I love getting my medical advice from a club act.”
  • “I think you’re a Renaissance man. You’re a talk show host. You’re an author. You’re… Well, that’s the whole list.”
  • “Are there any topics that are off limits for you other than foreplay?”
  • “You are absolutely sensational. Other than lacking one, what do you think your comedy legacy will be?”

Maher is falling out of his chair from the moment Glick sits across from him, literally wiping away tears of laughter. As the guest of honor at a party he’s throwing for himself, Maher easily endures the funny yet innocuous burns. 

Glick’s insults aren’t that different from the shtick Short does with Steve Martin on their neverending stage tour. Remember when the two hosted Saturday Night Live last season? Their joint monologue featured the two comics writing eulogies for one another, full of the same kind of barbed but playful jabs that get laughs while leaving no marks. 

The closest Glick gets to a truth about Maher is when he ridicules the host’s COVID expertise. It’s the one spot in the “interview” when Maher gets defensive, citing The New York Times as proof that he was right all along. Thankfully, when Maher asks Glick what he thinks about his argument, the interviewer responds, “I wasn’t listening.”

Short/Glick delivered more laughs than any of Maher’s New Rules segments, but it’s too bad that the insults couldn’t have cut deeper. There were so many things Glick could have gone after — Maher’s insistence that he’s about to be canceled, the imagined vendetta that Trump has for him, the audacity of today’s youth and the defanging of comedy, for example. 

Insulting Maher for not being much of a celebrity? That’s a one-size-fits-all gag. A funny segment could have been more interesting if Jiminy had gone for the jugular. 


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