The American public is still very much divided on Bill Maher, in spite of all his years in the public eye. But while people may disagree with his beliefs, few can deny his impact on the media landscape. Maher became a household name during the network run of his signature program, Politically Incorrect, until he was fired in 2002 for making a controversial comment about the 9/11 hijackers. Since early 2003, he’s seemed more at home on Real Time With Bill Maher, a wide-ranging political discussion on HBO that benefits from looser network restrictions. The show’s unique live format generates the increasingly rare sense that anything could happen; past episodes have featured everything from Christine O’Donnell tanking her senatorial candidacy to Zach Galafianakis casually lighting up a joint during an interview.
“For the last twenty years, Bill Maher has set the boundaries of where funny political talk can go on American television,” says publicist Emily Clay. “Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him 29 Emmy nominations.” In addition to his extensive TV work, Maher has written four best-selling books and produced and starred in Religulous, a satire of organized religion and the seventh-highest-grossing documentary film of all time.
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Maher remains a standup comic first and foremost, however; he’s recorded nine one-hour specials and continues to tour the country every year. The avowed legalization advocate and public stoner will roll through Denver tonight to headline a show at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place — and, presumably, to check out a recreational weed shop or two. For tickets, $55 to $95, go to altitudetickets.com.
Fri., Aug. 8, 8 p.m., 2014