“If you were watching the convention last night, you’re probably watching from your panic room,” joked Bill Maher, adding, “Did you see Donald Trump’s speech? If that speech was any darker it would’ve been shot by the police.” The political satirist was, for the first time since his Politically Incorrect days, assuming hosting duties for the third consecutive night—after two live broadcasts of Real Time that aired immediately following the final two days of the Republican National Convention.
On Thursday night, Maher said Trump “looked a lot like Mussolini” during his strident, remarkably cynical headlining speech.
“If you didn’t see it, to recap: it’s morning in America, where the walls are streaked with blood; we’re a shining city on a hill, which is where we’ll make our last stand against the zombies; and ISIS and illegal immigrants are coming to kill us all. Unfortunately there’s no one to save us because Hillary wiped out the police with her email. Yes, that’s pretty much the state of [Trump’s] America,” joked Maher.
“Now, as to the question of how he’s going to [fix] all this?” he continued. “Do not question Zod! Zero specifics. Not the slightest hint of how he’s going to fix anything. Nothing! Even James Bond villains when they tie you up tell you their plan a little.”
During Maher’s “New Rules” segment, the comedian deconstructed Trump’s “Make America Great Again” message—one that, he said, really means Make America White Again.
“Now that the Republican Convention is finally over, those of you thoroughly disgusted by what you witnessed have to look on the bright side: win or lose, Donald Trump will probably be the last ‘50s guy to run for president, and frankly, that is something to be thankful for,” said Maher. “Because ‘50s guys… we know what they mean,” he offered, before cutting to a clip of Trump in full misogyny mode, telling ABC News, “I think putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing...” and “when I come home and my dinner’s not ready, I go through the roof.” “The ‘50s guy: he likes steak, he keeps a bottle of Scotch in his desk, and he thinks an educated woman [Hillary Clinton] should be locked up.”
Maher’s five-minute segment focused on how the “tension between ‘50s and ‘60s people is what still drives our politics today”—those that welcomed the social and political upheaval of the ‘60s, and those that desire for things to return to Leave It to Beaver.
“If you’re a ‘50s guy, even if you try to join the modern world, it’s useless,” said Maher. “Not that they really want to, because for Trump and his fans, what was so great about the ‘50s was that white men didn’t have to really try. He complains about rigged systems, but the ‘50s was the ultimate rigged system. For example, basketball teams looked like this [a photo of all-white players]. Trump was 10 when Elvis burst on the scene, and while other people had made music like that before, only Elvis had the insight to do it while being white.” “Nobody ever asked you to ‘check your privilege’—you didn’t have to check, it was there alright,” he went on. “So when Republicans talk about ‘restoring America,’ ‘making it great again,’ ‘taking their country back,’ this is where they want to take it back to: 1959, when life was still in black and white, before the ‘60s came along and ruined everything with color.”