Bill Maher: The Decider

Synopsis: He’s been a voice of reason for a world spinning into madness. He’s led irreverent discussions with hundreds of celebrities, politicians and pundits on two celebrated shows (Real Time With Bill Maher, Politically Incorrect). He’s been nominated for an unprecedented 19 Emmys. Now, in an all-new, live HBO Comedy Special, Bill Maher takes to the stage in Boston and offers his views on the 2008 election, takes aim at lobbyists, explains why he has “zero tolerance” for the “no double standard” policy and, of course, has a few choice words to say about a certain commander-in-chief. It’s an hour of brutally honest, politically charged comedy from the master himself.

Bill Maher: The Decider 8.0

eyelights: takes the whole Bush administration to task time and again.
eyesores: comments about women.

“It’s so childish, “greatest country in the world.” It’s like saying, “I have the greatest wife in the world. Not just the one best suited for me, the greatest wife in the world. And if you could have my wife, you’d kill your wife.””

I was quite surprised by just how much I enjoyed this particular stand up routine (can we call it “stand up comedy”, or is it just a humourous rant/monologue?). After having seen an inebriated Bill Maher on Comic Relief 2006, and having tasted his contempt and arrogance in Religulous, I wasn’t sure that he’d be especially funny.

He was.

And, to my delight, he spent most of his time picking apart the Bush administration, just as it was wrapping up its second Tour of Duty. Rightly so, I must say. And deftly so: Bill Maher is knowledgeable enough to accurately pinpoint some of the more critical political issues of our time, let alone nitpick “The Decider”.

Granted, he has a skew which will no doubt never garner him any right-wing lovin’, but I highly doubt that he minds: “Republicans say that sex is bad, because with them it always is. It is! I’m sorry, but they’re just doughy, asexual, wonky, white people, and if you had to have sex with them it would be over in an excruciating three minutes.”

Some may say that he does a lot of Republican-bashing. Honestly, I think that, by the time he did this show in 2007, many were so tired of George W. Bush and his cronies that it was difficult to hold back the rivers of spite. Thankfully, Maher knows how to twist it all into comedy – it’s just that he’s obviously alienating some fifty percent of his potential audience.

Still, given that ‘The Decider’ is less than an hour in length, it’s no real effort or risk giving it a chance – irrespective of which side of the fence one is on (sad that there are only two camps these days, isn’t it?). Worst case scenario, it’ll offend the viewer… who will promptly take a shotgun to his/her TV and turn the radio on to Rush Limbaugh. Or it could also have the effect of helping one reflect on the current state of affairs in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

“I was just at the newly opened Creationist Museum in Kentucky…. And they have this exhibit of a giant dinosaur…with a saddle on its back. Because the world is only 5000 years old, so man and the dinosaurs had to coexist, and, of course, we rode them. A theory I thought laughable at the age of eight when I saw it on THE FLINTSTONES!”

Or, even better: it might make one laugh. HARD.

Bill Maher’s ‘The Decider’ certainly did the trick for me. I had a great time.

“The problem is that the people with the most ridiculous ideas are always the people who are most certain of them.”

Date of viewing: November 17, 2012

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