Bill Maher, the unapologetically outspoken political satirist, began his program Real Time Friday night by assessing the recent New York presidential primaries. The HBO host was, naturally, a bit crestfallen that his preferred candidate, Bernie Sanders, lost out to by 16 points to Hillary Clinton—and that his nemesis, Donald Trump, won his home state handily.
“The conventional wisdom is that it’s just Hillary and Trump. Those are our two choices,” said Maher during his monologue. “They both won big. Hillary was so stoked she was drinkin’ hot sauce right out of the bottle! Bernie never got a chance because they didn’t let independents vote in New York.” The most controversial statement by Maher, however, came during the panel portion of the evening. Maher, joined by guests Van Jones, Lesley Stahl, and Charles Cooke, criticized the fear mongering on the part of Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz when it comes to ISIS, as well as their near-constant demand that America bulk up its military.
“Is ISIS a threat? Yes. But the caliphate will not be extended to Kentucky,” said Maher. “People don’t read the paper so they don’t know we’re actually rolling back ISIS. They are losing. And even if they were a threat, they’re not the kind of threat we need to have a bigger military to fight. It’s a different kind of threat. And of course, our military is not drinking. We have the most ridiculous, rock-with-your-cock-out mass murder machine the world has ever seen.”
The entire panel seemed taken aback by the comment.
And no episode of Real Time with Bill Maher would be complete without the ribbing of candidate Trump, who once sued Maher for $5 million for insinuating he might be “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.” Maher doesn’t buy Trump’s new “reasonable guy” act that he trotted out during his victory speech on New York primary night. “It’s all been an act,” said Maher. “‘He’s really very presidential, a very reasonable guy. He’ll be different after the nomination.’ OK, so let me get this straight: the last thirty years as the world’s biggest douchebag… that was just to get us ready? This idea that this guy could ever change his stripes, that he could be ‘presidential’—yeah, because on election night Tuesday in New York for three minutes he went onstage and he did act like a normal human being, and he didn’t urinate on the whole audience, and he called Cruz ‘senator.’ It lasted three minutes! It’s like, you can make a chimp ride a tricycle for a little while. It’s like the way Keanu Reeves can do a British accent for a little while… and then he loses it.”