Bill Maher hates comic books. It took the death of beloved American comic creator legend Stan Lee to pull Maher kicking and screaming out of the comic book loathing closet, but we’re aware of his peculiar orientation. He’s out loud and proud about his super duper hatred of super heroes.
Maher calls comic books and super hero powered movies dumb. He’s faulted them – or credited our pop culture superstars depending on your point of view – for the Donald Trump presidency. HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher gives many perspectives on the prime issues of the day, so here are a few regarding Maher’s overtime obsession with dissing geek super hero culture.
5. Stand-up comics should only be called comics
Comedians impress as a fun, frolicking bunch. After all, it’s why they become comedians, take to the stage and make us piss our pants. But nobody would accuse them of not having an ego.
Maher seems to want to haughtily reserve the comic moniker only for himself and his comedy crafting brethren. Graphic novels, perhaps? Maybe referring to our pulp powered fiction with the more intellectual term would calm him down some. Gee, are comic strips like Peanuts or Dilbert and Calvin and Hobbes safe from The Wrath Of Maher?
4. Comic books & movies make more money than Bill Maher books & movies.
Bill Maher’s written books. He’s been in several movies. He even shared screentime with Angela Lansbury in the classic golden oldie TV show, Murder She Wrote. Whoa. How’s that for an exciting Hollywood filmed resume?
It’s obvious comic books and their dozens of blockbuster films make tons more money than Maher’s video based stuff. Can jealousy over a failed film career make one hate the boffo box office competition?
3. When you get old, you hate everything
Bill Maher reminds me of toon patriarch Grandpa Simpson, Homer’s dad on The Simpsons. Is he as ancient, withered and hard of hearing? Not so much, but the man’s getting old and showing his age.
When you get old enough, you start to hate everything. Get a little older and you start being afraid of pretty much everything too. Is Maher just hateful or fearful of comic books and super hero flicks? A bit of both? Is he just too old to ‘get it’? Sadly of all, he reminds me of those who railed against the ‘plague of comic books’ in the 1950’s. These Einsteins gave us the Comic Code Authority – a kind of puritanical censorship of Superman and Batman books. These guys cautioned us strongly that comic books would rot the mind of our youth, or that they were even an incalculable evil. Sixty some odd years later, Maher’s really the only one going around mockingbird the same kind of alarmist rhetoric.
2. Trump, Trump and Trump
Maher’s hatred for Donald Trump brewed long and hot way before Trump ever moved into the oval office. The cable talk show host brawled with the sun lamp worshiping real estate magnet and reality show host on a regular basis, but Trump’s presidency only fueled the feud fire more.
Maher says America is a country dumbed down by comic books, and therefore it’s why Trump won the White House. Wow – casual connection, anyone?
Couldn’t Maher have blamed America for loving Mexican food or using Uber for electing Trump? Something is embraced, which Maher frowns upon. It’s popular and profitable to everyone else, and so therefore, it affects the mindset of the American public. Apparently, Maher could tag anything trending in pop culture and somehow connect it to Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton. And just for shits and giggles, what of US Presidents elected before comic books were even a force? What ‘dumbed’ down the populace back then? Tone poems? Rock N Roll? Dime store novels? Court Jesters? Troubadours? Maybe Maher could connect all the ‘dumb’ pop culture trends with electing Presidents he doesn’t endorse.
1. Comic Books are more fun and funnier than Bill Maher
We read comic books and watch companion movies because they are fun and funny. In fact, most fans would probably say that comic books provide more real chuckles and giddy fun than most any other category of modern entertainment.
Comic books spawn cartoon incarnations, live action TV shows, video games and audio books. Netflix devours them. Disney is creating their own streaming platform for their mostly super hero powered content. They appear to be a limitless source of profitable creativity for a Hollywood hungry for sequels. I don’t think Bill Maher can properly handle all such awesome goodness. Of course, Maher’s actually appeared in a Marvel comic book movie – Iron Man 3. Big paycheck damping down the paralyzing self loathing of sleeping with the enemy? Maybe. Or just plain Hollywood hypocrisy at its finest.
In the final analysis of an Infinity War, Iron Man, Flash, Joker, Deadpool, Lex Luthor or Spider-Man delivering a one liner will always be more universal, classic, and yes, way funnier than Bill Maher’s punchy punchlines. And if there’s any true order, truth and justice to the universe, a superhero will always be able to deliver a punchline better than a cable talk show host. Excelsior!