YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Comically Correct Maher

July 29, 1996|PAMM HIGGINS

"Alcoholism is sad, but drunks are funny!"

There, Bill Maher said it. And the host of Comedy Central's "Politically Incorrect" calls sexually desirable women "tail" and tells Polish jokes, too.

"Does Anybody Have a Problem With That?" (Villard) is his way of letting Americans without cable (poor slobs!) share in the lost joy of "rude but true" banter. Among Maher's picks of his finest TelePrompTer-ready comments is a sprinkling of spontaneous sound bites from the talk show's odd assortment (say, Harry Shearer, John Malkovich, Suzanne Vega and Ray Bradbury) of guest panelists.

Here, Bill, whose show will move to ABC next year in the post-"Nightline" slot, does all the talking:


On Vietnam: "When we protested the war at Kent State, four people died and in about three days we had disco. History proves that when things get rough, dance crazes come back. Khrushchev killed the twist."

On immigration: "A lot of Americans don't think it's right that there are so many illegal immigrants roaming the countryside in rags and not paying taxes, because that's Willie Nelson's job."

On the sorry state of America: "If the '70s were the 'me decade,' then clearly the '80s and '90s have been the 'poor me' decades. Every indication of people in pain--drug abuse, alcoholism, insanity, violence, psychotherapy, self-help books--is off the charts. If you're not miserable, then you're in denial. No one knows exactly why we're as miserable as we are, and certainly we can't lay all the blame on Michael Bolton, but the New York Times bestseller list now consists of two categories: self-help and Stephen King."

On journalists as auteurs: "News reporters have become more important than the stories they cover. This phenomenon reached acute proportions a couple of years ago when Variety referred to the Gulf War as a 'Wolf Blitzer vehicle.' "

On guns: "Look, I'm not against the NRA in principle--having tools for killing things around the house is a terrific idea--I'm just saying that today's weapons are so easy to use, it's like hitting from the ladies' tee. Killing is good, of course, but let's save it for people who are willing to pack their balls in powder to do it."

On adoption: "If you want to adopt a child, what happens when the marriage goes sour? When Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson fought, they could always leave Quinton with Dom DeLuise, but what about kids who aren't that lucky?"

Los Angeles Times Articles