When the Green Music Center officially opened in 2012, Bill Maher was one of the first entertainers to perform in Weill Hall with his one night only titled “Countdown to Election 2012.” He returned to Sonoma State for his encore performance with “An Evening with Bill Maher.”
Maher, a stand-up comedian, political commentator, author and television host started his career on Comedy Central’s late night political talk show “Politically Incorrect” that ran from 1993-1997. Maher got his big break in 2003 when he moved to HBO and got his own show titled “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Here, he was appointed the host, co-producer and co-writer of the cable news show.
The show begins with a monologue and a diverse panel of guests that range from politicians, actors and authors as they discuss topical issues like a show business, political issues, and popular culture. Majority of people will recognize Maher for his 2008 documentary “Religulous,” where he travels to various parts of the world to explore various religions. He attempts to prove the concept of religion and faith is not the right way to truth as majority of the population accepts, as Maher is known for communicating his strong Atheist beliefs and his anti-religious stance.
For the readers who are not too familiar with Maher, he covers a range of political and social topics in his stand-up comedy shows as well as in his TV programming. His political satires cover a wide range of spectrum from mocking the “dysfunctional government” in Washington, critiquing Republican politicians and religious people. Maher definitely appeals to liberal followers with his support of liberal ideas such as universal health care, women’s rights, gay rights and animal rights, just to name a few.
During his opening act, Maher made fun of the crowd as he took a jab at the people watching from the lawn. “Those people outside are definitely college aged millennials, and they are in a lot of college debt,” said Maher. (Since tickets for the outside lawn isn’t as expensive as the ones inside the auditorium). He also encouraged the audience to participate and vote in the upcoming midterm elections. Throughout the show, the crowd was very loud and responsive as they laughed at every joke that Maher delivers. To be fair, Maher did make fun of himself on occasion, as he brought up the issue when Donald Trump sued him last year for $5 million dollars because Maher made a joke about him. As they heard more jokes about Trump, the crowd erupted to laughter and applause at Trumps expense; apparently Trump is not very popular at Sonoma State as he was booed every time Maher mentioned his name.
Maher then proceeds to mock different religions and jokes when people ask him “Come on Bill, why do you mock religion so much? It’s too easy too mock religion.” Maher then gives his rebuttal, “yeah because religion is f****** stupid.” Maher continued to say that “critical thinking is better than faith and both Faith and Science are not reconcilable.”
Maher also advocated for the environment and the seriousness of the drought in California, as he blasted conservatives with their lack of insight about the environment and refusal to believe in issue of global warming. He continued to inform the audience with numbers and percentages of people who don’t believe in the issue, and if society doesn’t act, that it may be too late to save our planet.
Bill Maher’s show isn’t for everyone, especially if you have strong conservative ideologies and you are a very religious individual. He strongly mocks conservative and religious ideologies. However, Maher did appeal to his base of liberal fans that showed up at Weill Hall. If you are a Liberal you know what you are paying for with Maher. On the other hand, for conservatives, it’s best to keep this guy at arms length because he will grind your gears for two hours.