Late-Night Host Bill Maher Proves He’s Out of Touch With Reality

One could argue that HBO is a place to become completely lost in yourself as a comedian since there’s virtually unlimited rules there on what you can say. Considering standup comedians have had entire freedom to say whatever they want in their TV specials there for decades, it’s already removed any line to cross on shows like Real Time with Bill Maher.

Bill Maher has already said numerous controversial things on Real Time HBO refused to fire him over. Let’s all argue not having any barriers on what you can say makes you more than a little complacent. As a result, it can make comedians create their own perceptions of reality, hence becoming a little out of touch with reality.

Maher’s recent fat shaming diatribe might prove this case.

Did Maher open a wider debate, or just trying to be provocative?

Bill Maher
Bill Maher | Mike Coppola/VF17/Getty Images for VF

When Bill Maher opened his Real Time show recently, he went on a rant about the rising obesity levels in America and wondering how we’re going to solve people eating themselves to death. According to him, fat-shaming was the only way to persuade overweight people to stop eating so much, eat healthier, and start working out.

What he didn’t stop to consider were all the variables in how hard it really is for many people to lose weight. He also didn’t take into consideration the real-world causes behind obesity.

There are numerous possible reasons people develop obesity, including genetics, hormone-related issues, taking certain medications, and food availability.

These are just some of the details Maher overlooked. Thankfully, James Corden saw himself in the comments and decided to do a rebuttal on Late, Late Show, either setting up a further debate, or perhaps finally setting a line for Maher. Celebrity support of Corden’s bit also spread across social media.

Maybe Maher should go out into the real world, or bring the world into the studio

We all know Maher brings pundits in on his panel discussions on Real Time, though they don’t always represent what’s going on in reality. Most of the time, these people are from Washington, D.C. or the world of celebrity where even they have the freedom to say things they’d never say on cable news.

If Maher wants to truly gain a grip on issues like obesity, he should be bringing real people who suffer from weight issues into the studio, not including health experts. Even James Corden should stop by to be on the panel.

We’ve suggested there should be such a debate on Late, Late Show itself, or maybe a political town hall about the subject on cable news with Presidential candidates. Whichever way it’s done, it might be better to have it occur directly on Real Time to bring some reality into Maher’s studio.

Otherwise, more dangerous complacency may set in there if HBO refuses to create at least a few rules.

HBO probably won’t set any barriers for what Maher can say or do

Since HBO has already set a precedent for freedom of speech and story on the network, they probably won’t draw any lines for Real Time. Bill Maher likely knows this, setting up another scenario where he’ll create more future uproars.

From the outset, it’s great to have such openness on a show to debate anything without filters. Having too much freedom can also lead to becoming overconfident and saying things resembling fringe thought.

At least Maher threw the gauntlet on addressing America’s obesity issue head-on. Should he bring a little bit of the real world in on his panel, it could lead to some practical solutions in finding a way to solve this crisis without belittling anybody.