Nice summary of what’s the matter with Bill. I always get the feeling that he performs his monologue to a laugh track, or his audience warm up regimen includes a tank of nitrous oxide, so the sound guys have to cut the sound on people laughing throughout his set; laughing because they are amused by the clothes they are wearing but nothing specifically said by Maher during the monologue. Rewatch the “Chicken instead of Fish” monologue with this in mind.
I stepped off the BM train during his Politically Incorrect days, after I noticed that “Politically Incorrect” had lodged itself in the societal lexicon more deeply than it’s root had. “Political Correctness,” an academic movement striving to create a less exclusive discourse in education (thus providing less alienating material for non white and female students), became a dog whistle for “Crazy Liberal Nonsense.” Bill Maher was central in this propagandized transformation, and Rush Limbaugh and Fox News took it from there. In that context, I’ve always seen him as being on the vanguard of conservative talk (which, in Libertarian terms can be atheist and pro legalization), with “The Cult of Maher” being the only line item higher on his personal agenda. I’ll bet you if he loses this gig, his next show will be called “Regressively Bill Maher.”