Synopsis: A comic force, multi-Emmy Bill Maher (Real Time with Bill Maher, Politically Incorrect) is in his true element – stand-up comedy – in this freewheeling, no-holds-barred performance before a packed house in Raleigh, North Carolina. In this live show, Bill fearlessly and hilariously lets loose on a comprehensive set of unique insights and controversial topics: the “Great Recession,” fake patriotism, President Obama, Michael Jackson, the drug war, health care, the Tea Party movement, reverse racism, religion, and much more – including the first-ever burka fashion show. Incisive wit, social observer, political provocateur, Maher proves to be one of today’s most brilliant comedy minds.
eyelights: the wide range of topics that Maher covers.
eyesores: the static show with a dull setting.
“One of the complaints leveled against me is, “Oh, Bill, you’re such a meanie. Why do you have to go after religion? It gives people comfort; it doesn’t hurt anything”. Okay, well, other than most wars, the Crusades, the Inquisition, 9/11, arranged marriages to minors, blowing up girls’ schools, the suppression of women and homosexuals, fatwas, ethnic cleansing, honor rape, human sacrifice, burning witches, suicide bombings, condoning slavery, and the systematic fucking of children, there’s a few little things I have a problem with.”
You’ve got to give Bill Maher credit: he’s indefatigable, and he’s got a lot to say. Problem is that his shows can be one ginormous monologue: there is very little -or no- interaction with the audience, and he doesn’t construct a string of short routines – only lengthy speeches.
It doesn’t mean that he’s not funny or topical. Hardly. It’s just that his style of comedy means that his shows tend to become one big blur: you remember the setting, and you remember that he talked for at least an hour, but nothing else seems to stick – nothing seems to stand out.
Seriously, even though I saw it mere days ago, all I remember from “…But I’m Not Wrong” is that I laughed a fair bit, enjoyed myself throughout, and that Maher stood on stage the whole time – and sometimes wandered about instead of staying put.
Oh, that’s not entirely true…
There was the brief -but peculiar- encore, which consisted of a mock Muslim fashion show featuring a series of women in burqas. (Now, while I understand the issues that Maher was trying to highlight with this skit, and chuckled along, I was nonetheless left uncomfortable, feeling as though a line was being crossed. Is it just me?)
Mmmm.. and that’s it. I don’t remember anything else about this show. So all I can do is recommend “…But I’m Not Wrong” to fans of Maher and of political comedy. Really, what else is there to say?
Well, I suppose that I could always just leave you with another quote from that show:
“You have to understand the Tea-bagger mindset; they have this nostalgia for this America that they think was stolen from them, that used to be, that was better – it’s really the 1950s, okay? That’s what they think was Shangri-La, and, y’know what they really don’t get is that it’s kind of insulting to a lot of Americans to pine for this era, cause it wasn’t that good for a lot of people. It was good if you were a white man. It wasn’t that good if you were Mexican, or black, or Jewish, or disabled, or gay, or a woman.”
Date of viewing: November 22, 2012