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The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Bill Maher

January 28, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Bill Maher

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.


Every year, on Super Bowl Sunday, I either try to clean up my DVR by watching shit that I’ve recorded that I’ve been meaning to watch but just haven’t gotten around to yet, or I watch a couple of movies. I’m not a football fan, and since the commercials all end up on YouTube at some point, either before or after the big game, there’s no real “incentive” to me to watch the game for those commercials. My DVR is in pretty good shape at the moment, and since it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any col counter-programming marathons on, like a Matlock marathon, I think I’ll be watching a few movies. A few years ago I watched all four of the Airport movies, and I think, for this year, I’m going to watch at least two of them again. Which ones should I watch, though?

Should I watch the original, which came out in 1970 and starred Dean Martin and Burt Lancaster? Should I watch Airport 1975, which has big Chuck Heston having to enter a seriously damaged passenger airplane in mid-air to help his lover Karen Black land the damn thing? How about Airport ‘77, the one where the plane is underwater and has Jack Lemon, Darren McGavin, Jimmy Stewart, M. Emmet Walsh, Gil Gerard, and Christopher goddamn Lee in it? And, of course, there’s the immortal The Concorde… Airport ‘79, which has George Kennedy and Alain Delon flying a supersonic plane to Moscow and Robert Wagner trying to destroy said supersonic plane. So many goddamn decisions.

At the moment, I’m leaning towards parts 2 and 4, because those are my outright favorites of the four, but I can watch any of them and not feel bad about it. So, if you were in my position, which ones would you watch? Which ones are your favorites?

And now onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.



This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to comedian and talk show host Bill Maher, for doubling down on his “adults who read comic books need to grow up” commentary. Maher used the final part of his “New Rules” segment on the most recent episode of his HBO talk show Real Time to address his “adults who read comic books need to grow up” controversy from this past November. And, not surprisingly, he said essentially the same thing again, that comic books and the adults who like them need to “grow up” and are an example of what’s wrong with the world today. Comic books, and the movies made out of them, are not great literature or cinema and they’re made for children, and if the world is going to progress in any way, I guess, adults need to start doing “adult things,” like whatever it is that Bill Maher does when he isn’t hosting a talk show.

Now, back in November when Maher made his original comments in the wake of the death of Stan Lee, I thought that, maybe, Maher might do some soul searching and see for himself what it is those comic book nerds were so upset about. I thought, maybe, he’d read Watchmen or, well, anything from the past ten years or so, just to see if comic books had changed at all since he read them when he was a kid. If he had started his latest rant with “I read one of the things that the comic book fans out there suggested I read and I still stand by what I said,” I’d be less annoyed with his doubling down and just moved on. He didn’t do that, though. All he apparently did is recommit to what he originally said. And that’s what’s most annoying about this.

Bill Maher still has no idea what he’s talking about and he can’t admit to it.

But isn’t the point of his commentary that comic books are for kids, and if you don’t “grow out of them” you can’t get a job, start a savings account, buy a house, or have a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex? Sure, that is his point, but it’s meaningless as liking those things doesn’t prevent you from doing any of the “adult” things. And there are millions of nerds out there in committed relationships with women and men and they have kids and houses and jobs and everything else that makes one an adult. Sure, you can go on in the internets and find plenty of comic book nerds who can’t do or don’t have any of those things, and you can also find plenty of people who don’t like or participate in comic books or comic book movies, who are into sports and pot and “great literature” like Shakespeare who can’t hold down a job for the life of them. So what the fuck is Maher really talking about?

I’m not even sure Maher knows what he’s talking about. He has his position and that’s it.

And if we’re going to get into “adults should stick to adult things and leave the kiddie things to the children,” shouldn’t he denounce his friend Seth MacFarlane for his devotion to cartoons, and shouldn’t Maher denounce himself for admitting to liking Family Guy? I mean, aren’t cartoons “made for kids?”

But Family Guy is made for adults! That isn’t an apt comparison!

Sure it isn’t. How could it be? Maher is an adult. He wears a suit to work.

Jesus Christ.

Do you think Maher will quit HBO because of all of the money the network is spending on that Watchmen TV series?


And now for this week’s honorable mentions…

Dan Savage, Heather McGee, Joshua Green, and Michael McFaul, Bill Maher’s most recent guests on his show Real Time, for laughing and endorsing Maher’s attack on comic book nerds. For liberals who like to go after right wing conservatives for attacking and denigrating marginalized groups, you’d think at least one of them, like maybe Savage, would have spoken up for comic book nerds after the show. I mean, sure, they’re on the stage, next to Maher, while he’s doing his big, signature bit, it would be “rude” not to laugh. But after that? As of Saturday night when I’m writing this, not a word from any of them. Surprised? Not really, but it’s still pretty awful.

Michael Ertel, the now former Florida Secretary of State, for wearing a “blackface costume” fourteen years ago, when he was in his mid-30’s. I’d like to know why he thought his blackface “Katrina victim” costume was a good idea. Ertel hasn’t provided any answers or insight into his monumentally stupid decision from 2005, and I doubt he will anytime soon. I guess you can’t use the “youthful indiscretion” defense when you’re like 35. What the fuck is wrong with people?

Wilbur Ross, the current U.S. Secretary of Commerce, for his recent remarks regarding furloughed federal workers. I can’t say that I’m surprised that Ross, much like other members of the Trump administration, have no idea what middle class people go through in their everyday lives, but it’s still kind of shocking when that ignorance is willingly put on full display. How hard it is to get together and decide on what the hell to say?

-The Tampa Bay Rays, for its recent decision to go cashless at its stadium this year. Yes, the best way to get more fans to show up at your ballpark is to restrict how they can pay for shit while there. Makes all the sense in the world. Who comes up with this shit?


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