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Bill Maher

Bill Maher Bio

William Maher, Jr., (pronounced /ˈmɑr/; born January 20, 1956) is an American stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, actor, and author. He hosted the late-night television talk show Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, and is currently the host of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. On June 1, 2006, he also began hosting an Internet-exclusive talk show on Amazon.com entitled Amazon Fishbowl.

Maher is known for his political satire and sociopolitical commentary. His commentaries target a wide swath of topics, right wing politics, bureaucracies of many kinds, political correctness, the mass media, and persons in positions of high political and social power, among many others. He supports the legalization of cannabis and gay marriage and serves on the board of PETA. He is also an outspoken critic of organized religion and is an advisory board member of The Reason Project. Maher is number 38 on Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-ups of all time.

Early life and career

Maher was born in New York City, the son of Julie (née Berman), a nurse, and William Maher, Sr., a network news editor and radio announcer. Maher was raised in his Irish American father's Catholic religion, and did not find out that his mother was Jewish until his teenage years. He grew up in River Vale, New Jersey and graduated from Pascack Hills High School in Montvale, New Jersey. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Cornell University in 1978.

Maher began his career as a stand-up comedian and actor, and he continues to act and tour occasionally. He was host of the New York City comedy club Catch a Rising Star in 1979. Thanks to Steve Allen, he began appearing on Johnny Carson's and David Letterman's shows in 1982. He made limited television appearances, including two separate appearances on Murder She Wrote -- notably, as Maher likes to point out, as two different characters. He has also appeared in several films, usually in a comic role. He was also a writer in the late 80's on the sitcom "RoseAnne". His feature film debut was in D.C. Cab (1983), and he has also appeared in Ratboy (1986), Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1988), and Pizza Man (1991).


Political views
Maher and Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA. Maher is on the board of directors of the animal rights group.
Maher and Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA. Maher is on the board of directors of the animal rights group.

Maher describes himself as a libertarian and a liberal and believes that, "government is really there to do the things that people absolutely can't do for themselves";[8] however, some have questioned Maher's libertarianism, describing him as a center-left liberal.

Maher favors a partial privatization of social security, ending corporate welfare, and legalization of gambling, prostitution, and all drugs. (Maher is a member of NORML's Advisory Board, an organization which supports the decriminalization of marijuana.) Additionally, Maher describes himself as an environmentalist, and he frequently alludes to the topic of global warming on his show Real Time. Moreover, he is suspicious of Corporate America.

He supported Bob Dole in the 1996 U.S. presidential election on the basis that Dole was a war hero and the kind of "old-fashioned" Republican he appreciated. Although he told Libertarian Party candidate Harry Browne at the end of a Browne appearance on Politically Incorrect that Browne would have his vote, ultimately he said he instead voted for Ralph Nader in the 2000 U.S. presidential election.

Maher is a board member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and has expressed his distaste for the pharmaceutical and health care industries in general, on the grounds that they make their money out of curing people who are made sick by consuming unhealthy food that society urges upon the public. He also maintains that mass consumption of high fructose corn syrup is a contributor to the American obesity epidemic. On the August 11, 2005, episode of Larry King Live, Maher said he was not a vegetarian, adding "...but I don't eat a lot of meat." Maher has stated that he has a "very eccentric diet."

Prior to the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Maher became very forthright in his opposition to the re-election of George W. Bush, and in his support for John Kerry as the best candidate to defeat Bush, going so far as to publicly kneel on his show, with director Michael Moore, and beg Ralph Nader to drop out of the race. Maher often says that the word "liberal" has been unfairly demonized, and during the elections he criticized Kerry for being ashamed of the word. Bill Maher once called George W. Bush "the worst president ever" and accuses him of being both corrupt and incompetent[citation needed]. As Maher supports the death penalty, the legality of abortion and euthanasia, he often states his position humorously as "pro-death." Expanding on this statement, he revealed his belief that the size of the human population has led to damage to the earth's ecosystem, joking that he is generally in favor of anything that would reduce it[citation needed]. Since 9/11 he also has stated his endorsement of racial profiling at airports.

While discussing FEMA's failure regarding Hurricane Katrina, Maher suggested it was a failure of "federal responsibility," and faulted President Bush with negligence.

He was originally against the war in Iraq, but briefly offered less skeptical commentary in light of the Iraqi election of 2005. Maher now views the Iraq War as a failure and implied on the February 24, 2006 episode of Real Time that Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein and that the U.S. cannot control the sectarian violence like Saddam did. He has said the invasion of Iraq has increased the threat of terrorism. He has also stated his concerns about the possibility of a future civil war in Iraq or about the possibility that Iraq is already involved in the early stages of a civil war.

Maher describes himself as a staunch supporter of Israel.

Regarding the 2008 US Presidential Election, Bill Maher has announced his support for Barack Obama.

Maher has been very critical of John McCain and Sarah Palin; He has called Palin (who he has been more critical of) an "extremist", a stewardess, and unsuitable for such a high position. Maher has also taken to being very critical of the situation involving Palin's 17 year old daughter's pregnancy, who Maher believes is being forced into a loveless marriage. Maher has also questioned whether or not Palin's down's syndrome infant is actually Bristol's first child. Maher, who believes the Republican Party is generally populated with liars and hypocrites, believes Palin is capable of such deception. He also called her a "Category 5 moron" who was not even qualified to be the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

On September 12, 2008, Maher continued his criticism of the Palins by launching a web site called freelevi.org. On the site, Maher declared that Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol Palin's unborn child, was "America's number one political prisoner" and offered to turn control of the site over to Levi should Johnston wish to use the site as a way of raising money to purchase his freedom.[16] The site has been criticized by some-- most notably members of the stand-up community-- for its inexplicable resemblance in design and content to SavingBristol.com, a web site created by Doug Stanhope exactly one day prior to Maher's, where Stanhope has offered $50,000 to help Bristol Palin pay for an abortion and start a new life that would be free from her "tyrannical" family. The site also encourages visitors to donate to LilithFund.org, a Texas-based organization dedicated to helping women get abortions if they cannot afford them.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Maher

Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In: Bill Maher, Famous Male Comedians, American Comedians
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Comments about Bill Maher

Intelligent and thought provoking, Bill is the best........thanks Bill....keep up the good work.......M.

posted @ Monday, March 21, 2011 1:05 AM by Martin Ellacott

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