Laugh Trek

Don't Wreck Yourself. Laugh Trek yourself.

Bill Maher, Let’s Talk About ‘Black Panther’

Bill Maher & Black Panther

Bill Maher, are you listening?    Black Panther calls to you.

Black Panther thrills as a landmark cinematic event.  Film critics and hardcore superhero fans equally adore this blockbuster comic book film.  It’s won SAG awards for an excellent cast, snagged several Academy Award noms, and now stands as 3rd biggest grossing box office film in cinema history.  Marvel Comics, the pulp fiction house Stan Lee built, stands tall and proud on their stellar achievement.


Surprisingly, however, all aren’t exactly thrilled over the beloved Marvel movie’s phenomenal success.  Call it the Black Panther blues.

Grandpa Bill, I’m thinking one of those blue few may be you.

Bill Maher, acerbic cable show host of HBO’s Real Time, dismisses comic books.  Maher claims superheroes dumb down America, and detract as a waste of time.  Apparently, his opinion of them is so low, he basically admonishes us for even watching, let alone enjoying them.

Grandpa Bill, have you heard our celebratory news?  Listen closely. You’ll hear a thunderous roar.

Bill Maher & Black Panther

Black Panther dazzles as the 3rd biggest grossing movie in Hollywood history – out performing dozens of veteran Hollywood film treasures.

Grandpa Bill, let’s mull it over.  

BP lives in a rarefied artistic space, alongside box office champs such as Star Wars from George Lucas, Titanic, James Cameron and E.T. The Extraterrestrial from Steven Spielberg.  These gems involve our unique sociological sensibilities.  They set trends.  Generations of Americans, and millions more around the globe, find something to love about them.

Grandpa Bill, do you think only geeks toss money away on silly super hero stupidity?

Logic dictates not all BP ticket buyers are fanboys.  A massive hit can’t be funded solely by a fan base.  A crossover audience must include folk who don’t buy comics nor know the difference between Superman and Spider-Man or Batman and Owlman.

But let’s say the core audience mostly live proud lives as Comic Con attendees.  Even if repeat, hardcore geeks fuel the movie’s gargantuan triumph, its source material plainly speaks volumes in terms of quality.  It has obviously scored a genuine human connection.  Fans, no matter their loyalty, simply don’t repeatedly plunk down cash to a film which doesn’t say something important to them.

Grandpa Bill, listen up.

Black Panther speaks to our collective sense of shared humanity and brilliant tapestry of diverse global cultures.  It speaks to delighted paying audiences, hard to please film critics, industry awards and to comic book readers who made the African born character a success way before the movie.  It speaks smartly as intelligent, soaring science fiction. This movie marvel speaks loudly and clearly as a literate pop culture jewel and even, as a true historic milestone.

Grandpa Bill Maher, liberate yourself.  Throw away the hate.  Open up your mind – even a little.  Are you listening?  Can you hear it? Black Panther calls to you.