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YMMV: Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Acceptable Targets: Everything and everyone is a target to Bill. After all, this is the guy who hosted a show called Politically Incorrect. Even the things Bill likes aren't immune to criticism.
    • Acceptable Religious Targets: Bill doesn't care for religions, but he really, really hates Catholicism.
      • And Islam, but his problem is more with its tenets and leadership than the people themselves.
  • Anvilicious: Though some would argue Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
  • Confirmation Bias: Maher attempts to subvert this, but generally if you agree with him you will like it, if you disagree with him you will hate it.
  • Critical Research Failure: Defended South Park for being against religion, when the creators of South Park are not against religion.
    • Really his defense was of South Park's right to free speech, especially when the groups they target (in this case, Viacom under political pressure) are offended by it, despite the fact that the SP creators disagree with him on a lot of issues. He's made the same argument towards Rush Limbaugh, saying that he'd rather live in a country where people are allowed to say things that may offend others, than one where no one has the right to say anything that might rub against the grain.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Too many to count. They primarily appear in the New Rules segments.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Many liberals and atheists dislike him both for his sexist comments (see Unfortunate Implications below) and anti-vaccination statements.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Bill doesn't think adultery is that big a deal, as he's discussed adultery scandals from French politics.
  • Foe Yay: It's rumored he used to date Ann Coulter.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: From the May 8th, 2009 episode: "New Rule: The Supreme Court is a deliberative body, not a sausage party. We need a court that looks like America, not like a hundred-year reunion of the Whiffenpoofs. That's why Obama needs to find a non-lawyer, single parent with disabilities who is also a bi-curious black woman. [slide of Michael Jackson] Michael Jackson, your comeback starts now!" Michael Jackson died a month later.
  • Heartwarming In Hindsight: In April 2011, Bill delivered the New Rule "Charlie Don't Serf", in which he urged Americans to stand up to the corporations who have been abusing the American socioeconomic system. In September that same year, the first Occupy Wall Street rally took place, which managed to influence American politics, coining terms like "The 1%", and has made people pay more attention to the increasing disparity between rich and poor people.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the last show of his halfway point in the 2013 season, Bill remarked that "I get why Republicans don't want to come on my show, but I couldn't get Obama when he was a senator, Biden won't come on, Pelosi won't. Am I just the pot-smoking potty-mouthed talk show host to most Democrats?" Nancy Pelosi was his very first guest when the show came back from break (supposedly she saw said line and asked to come on).
  • The Scrappy: One of Bill's most frequent guests, Stephen Moore, is widely hated for being seen as a near-cartoonish conservative strawman.
    • And yet he's one of Bill's closer friends. Funny how that works.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The last "New Rule" always go in-depth on an issue, often delivering an extremely important message.
  • Unfortunate Implications/Dude, Not Funny!: His tendency to use personal and offensive language against women he's opposed to. For example, he's called Sarah Palin both a twat and a cunt. He doesn't regret this at all.
    • Which crosses over into Hypocrite territory when he defended those remarks with the "I'm a comedian" defense while simultaneously skewering Rush Limbaugh for calling pro-choice activist Sandra Fluke a "slut", despite the fact that Limbaugh has often used a similar defense in regards to his own provocative rhetoric.
    • In a July 2013 New Rule, Bill seems to suggest that any individual involved in a scientific field can only hold atheist or agnostic beliefs, and those that convey any religious beliefs are certifiable idiots/frauds.
    • April 2014 had his "Lucky Bastard Syndrome" sketch, where the double standard on how men being raped and women being raped is treated is painfully obvious. Basically the joke is "women are forcing themselves on you and you're complaining."
    • Bill's criticisms of Islam sometimes go into Islamophobic territory, as he makes little-to-no distinction between fundamentalists and all other Muslims. He himself has been criticized for this, most notably by Ben Affleck in October 2014.

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