Bill Maher during a broadcast of his HBO show, "Real Time With Bill… (Janet Van Ham / HBO )
With his million-dollar donation to the pro-Obama "super PAC," Bill Maher has established himself among the top Democratic mega-donors, a field dotted with boldface Hollywood names.
Donors from the entertainment industry gave $2.2 million through January to Priorities USA Action, according to the Center for Responsive Politics -- half of the group's overall fundraising since it formed last spring.
Much of that came from a single donation by Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who wrote a $2-million check to the group last May. His former producing partner, director Steven Spielberg, contributed $100,000 in July.
Director/producer J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, kicked in a combined $100,000 to the group in June.
Each new round of Federal Election Commission filings have revealed a new set of million-dollar donors, although the vast majority have given to super PACs supporting Republican candidates or the GOP as a whole.
And none of those prolific givers have made their pledges quite as public as Maher, who brandished a gigantic check onstage at his comedy special CrazyStupidPolitics.
Maher's past political giving has been relatively modest – a total of $4,850 given since 2004, mainly to the Democratic presidential campaigns of Sen. John F. Kerry, former Sen. John Edwards and then-Sen. Barack Obama, as well as to the successful 2008 Senate run for fellow comedian Al Franken.