If you’re still looking for fun things to do this Memorial Day weekend, Bill Maher has you covered.
The veteran comic and host of HBO’s hit weekly talk show Real Time is shipping up to New England for a special night of laughs at Foxwoods on Saturday, May 25. Thankfully, Maher won’t have to worry about taping an episode on Friday, as Real Time will take a brief break so he can hit the road for a string of stand-up performances on the east coast. Fans can expect Maher to be as fiery as ever when he takes the stage at the Grand Theater this holiday weekend.
Although Maher definitely has his political allegiances, he’s spent the past quarter century skewering politicians on both sides of the aisle with his various talk series. However the fallout from the 2016 presidential election has forced Maher to step up his game in recent years. While the constant political noise coming out of Twitter or Washington D.C. has overtaken everything from cable news to late-night comedies, Maher doesn’t feel burned out by all the drama just yet. In fact, he believes his audience is as hungry as ever for the type of humorous commentary he offers on his show.
“My audience is a politically savvy audience,” says Maher. “Political junkies, they never get tired of it. If you love race car driving, you’re going to talk about race car driving until the day you die.”
The comedian notes that, as awful as things may appear in the news, for better or worse, “it’s never boring.” His job is to act as a conduit for people’s frustrations.
“People need to vent or have someone vent for them,” says Maher. “As long as this goes on, I will be there for them and doing that as best I can.”
One hot topic that’s taken over the news cycle is, of course, the 2020 presidential race. Election Day may be more than a year away, but that hasn’t stopped folks from talking about the ever-growing field of Democratic candidates who want to face off against President Donald Trump. New England alone has at least four locals vying for a spot atop the ticket, including Springfield native and former Alaska senator Mike Gravel, Massachusetts senators Seth Moulton and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Maher is particularly fond of Warren and Sanders, who’ve been frequent guests on Real Time.
“Both of those are candidates I like a lot,” says Maher. “We’ll see. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that there’s a lot of people in the race because I want to know from the electorate who’s going to beat Trump. I think most people on the left feel that way.”
Regardless of who gets the nod, Maher believes that the eventual Democratic challenger will have a fight on their hands, and must find a way to match the president’s tough rhetoric without the bravado.
“The Democrat who runs against him has to figure out how much you contrast to that, because you don’t want to go all the way,” says Maher. “You have to look like when you get punched, you punch back.”
Photography by: Photo by David Becker