No Holds Maher-ed

Apr 23 2011 in Buzz by Amanda Slater

No Holds Maher-ed

by David Nassar

Political satirist and provocateur, Bill Maher, brought his no-holds-barred comedy to a sold-out crowd at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater on Saturday, April 16.  As expected, no one was safe from his left-leaning criticisms (including the Left itself). He poked fun at John Edwards’ antics and slammed Obama for not being tough enough, comparing his desire to be liked by everyone to “Charlie Sheen’s love of hookers and blow.”

Maher ranted about everything from big oil to Obamacare with the same razor-sharp wit he employs on his hit HBO series, Real Time. Maher reminisced about the Bush administration, thinking of it as “an uncle that molested me and I blocked it out,” and branded possible presidential-hopeful Michele Bachmann as “the candidate for those who thought Sarah Palin was just too intellectual.”  The Tea Party, or Tea-Baggers as Maher so affectionately refers to them, was a favorite target of the night, with Maher suggesting “the only thing the Tea-Baggers hate more than being called racist… is black people.”   Maher held few punches, addressing topics like the bloated U.S. defense budget, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, corporate bailouts and gay marriage, although the admitted pot-smoker talked surprisingly little about one of his favorite issues: marijuana legalization.

But as usual, his most scathing criticisms were saved for the religious-right. The night’s  finale began with Mormons and their “magic underwear,” and ended with Maher reading directly from his favorite chapters of Rick Warren’s bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life, kissing it in thanks for the rich comedic-gold found in its pages.

Although any Bill Maher fan (or detractor) could have easily guessed what topics would be on his agenda, the 90-minute set felt as fresh as ever, and, judging from the enthusiasm of the Ann Arbor crowd, few left disappointed.

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