Comedian Bill Maher on politics, culture and the role of Milwaukee


Normally, when the outside artist praises the city they’re about to play, you put them deep in the story.

Milwaukee? Of course it’s a good city.

But with comedian Bill Maher, performing his stand-up number at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee on August 14, the feeling feels terribly real.

In a recent phone interview, Maher said he liked the Midwestern audience that mixed Liberals and Conservatives, just like the guests he received on his HBO show. “Real time.”

“And I will also call my own team when I think they hurt,” said Maher, who has made large political donations to Democrats. “So I get a bit of a mixed crowd, but I think they’re largely liberal, but they’re not crazy awake liberals. I mean, I hope they don’t read this in San Francisco. , but I’d much rather play Milwaukee than San Francisco.

“San Francisco, they’re going to whine, whine about things that are a little too politically incorrect. And I just feel like, come on, I’ve been doing this for a long time. My show was called ‘Politically Incorrect’. ‘ This one is called “realtime.” I had a lot of problems. You know, I think I just pre-advertised. If you’re not ready for an unvarnished and really funny show where we give ourselves permission to laugh at everything, don’t come. “

Maher said he enjoyed being back on the road and performing in front of a live audience.

The pandemic has taken a toll on everything, including live performances. Maher, at least, was fortunate enough to be able to keep recording her show, even though it must have performed very early on from her “cave and backyard.” Recording had to be halted, however, when Maher, who was vaccinated for COVID-19, tested positive.

“As for getting back on the road, I can’t even describe the joy I feel about it.… Obviously the public is just hungry to get back to life and get back to life,” he said. he declares. “And part of life is laughing. And that’s where I come in.”

The act, he says, is new. After all, during his last tour, in February 2020, Donald Trump was still in the White House.

“I pretty much had to build a house from scratch,” he said. “So it was an interesting project.”

There is a lot of political material around, he said.

He doesn’t hesitate to criticize what he calls “the awakened left”, which he says has reversed everything he was brought up on as a liberal.

Don’t run it on “defund the police”.

He said people like US Representative James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, “said police funding is killing our party. And he’s right. Much of what Democrats are afraid to resist is It’s just things that seem to strike most people in this country as having no common sense. To me, that’s the Achilles heel of the Democratic Party. ”

Maher said when Trump ran for reelection he continued to use the phrase, “You have no choice.”

“It was his way of saying, ‘I know I’m crazy, but they’re crazy too, in their own way,'” he said. “It resonates.”

Still, Maher added, “Let’s not bury the lead here. Republicans are still, in my opinion, much more dangerous. They play with the kind of fire that no one has ever played with in this country before, and it’s the fire not to accept an election. “

He added: “The Republicans have unfortunately become a one-question party, and that question is the vote. They are against it.”

Not so surprisingly, however, Fox News has taken note of Maher’s shots on the left.

The applause of the conservative network makes him laugh. Maher said: “Fox News can never say anything positive about me without first preceding it with ‘we hate him, we all know we hate him, but he got it right’.”

If you are going to

Which: Bill maher

When: 8 p.m. August 14

Or: Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave.

How much: $ 55 to $ 125 at

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