Bill Maher justifies rightward shift: "Comedy goes where the funny is"

"There is funny on the left now as well as the right"

Published August 28, 2021 11:40AM (EDT)

Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time" (HBO)
Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time" (HBO)

Bill Maher has been spending more time on his HBO show "Real Time" making fun of liberals — and justified it Friday night by saying simply, "comedy goes where the funny is."

The conversation began as a discussion about Fox News late night host Greg Gutfeld, who has rocketed up in late-night ratings and regularly gets more viewers than Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, according to a Newsweek report highlighted by Maher. 

"Fox News found a good thing — they can make fun of liberals," Maher said. "And they're doing it to great success."

Maher then featured a slate of what can only be described as conservative memes, before launching into a monologue about what he called "Onion headline" policies championed by liberals in recent years.

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"I keep saying to the liberals, you know what, if what you're doing sounds like an Onion headline, stop. This is why there's an opening for conservative comedy, because, you know, when you tear down statues of Abraham Lincoln in the Land of Lincoln — Land of Lincoln cancels Lincoln, it's an Onion headline. You know, three-year-olds pick their own gender is an Onion headline," Maher said.

"The problem is, [conservatives] don't know how to do comedy," he added. "But if they found someone who did, they could. Because I do it now more here than I used to, because comedy goes where the funny is and there is funny on the left now as well as the right."

By Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman was the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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Bill Maher Clip Comedy Left-wing Media Politics Right Wing The Onion