Bill Maher on Thursday night while performing on a comedy special streamed on Yahoo apparently pledged $1 million to the super PAC supporting President Obama. We say “apparently” just because he’s Bill Maher, and it’s possible that this is a joke of some kind, but it doesn’t seem like it.
Here’s what Mr. Maher said on Yahoo's CrazyStupidPolitics special: “I would like tonight to announce a donation to the Obama super PAC, which has the very unfortunate tongue-twister name Priority USA Action. I know, it was named by Borat. But tonight I would like to give that PAC ... one million dollars.”
Yes, the crowd at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts was surprised.
His longtime publicist Sarah Fuller told Deadline Hollywood the whole thing was serious and that Maher has told her “this is the wisest investment I think I could make.”
Here’s our question: Is this a good career move for Maher? We ask this knowing full well that he’s already well-known as a Democrat. This was the guy who cajoled Christine O’Donnell into talking on-air about her teenage dalliance with witchcraft, after all, and look how that turned out.
No, our question is more pragmatic. The political jokes in his routine are all aimed at the GOP candidates. If they lose, what’s he got to work with? He’d have to completely renovate his routine. As a professional he is much better off with high-ranking Republicans to kick around. Unlike, say, his fellow funny-guy Dennis Miller, who’s GOP these days.
“I mean like from the old Adam West ‘Batman’ ... I’m talking about a fat, over-the-hill character actor with two henchmen in dog suits in a warehouse,” Maher told Mr. Ferguson.
On his Yahoo show he called Michele Bachmann the candidate for “people who find Sarah Palin too intellectual.” Rick Perry is the “Bush brotha’ from anotha’ motha’,” according to Maher. Mitt Romney? He’s been led in the polls by everyone from Donald Trump to “the underwear bomber, Michael Jackson’s doctor, and bed bugs.”
See what we mean? It would be very hard for Maher to try and work up material about amendments to the implementation of Obama health initiatives after that. He admitted as much in a piece he wrote this week on the Huffington Post.
“This Republican field over the last year has been such a comedy gold mine,” he wrote.
However, there is one point to be made the other way. Maybe he wants a position in the Obama administration. Big fundraisers, especially those who can cajole their wealthy friends to pony up as well, often get top posts right?
We can see it now: “Ambassador to the Bahamas Bill Maher.” That position looks like it’s going to be open, too. The current occupant, an Obama donor named Nicole Avant, was recently blasted by a State Department inspector general report for “an extended period of dysfunctional leadership and mismanagement, which has caused problems throughout the embassy,” according to a report in Foreign Policy magazine.
After a report like that, the professional diplomats at the post could probably use a good laugh.