HBO host Bill Maher is appearing soon as a standup comic in Jacksonville, Florida, and the local Folio Weekly interviewed him. What they found was a man who calls himself an "artist" and compares himself to "a band that puts out a record ahead of its time."
When you trash Sarah Palin and organized religion, that apparently makes you a forward thinker of the first order:
"I think you always have to be a little out front of where the audience is. You are supposed to be the leader, not the follower," he says. "A lot of people are the followers. A lot of people have a slavish devotion to their own audience's sensibilities. That's one way to do it. I don't disrespect it. It's just not the way I work. I would rather have the audience sometimes ‘Ooo' and ‘Ahh,' because I want to be on the edge. I want to be beyond where they are. Just like a band that puts out a record that's ahead of its time. That's OK. That's what an artist should do.
Nevertheless Maher thinks that "centrist" Hillary Clinton pretty much has the White House locked up far in advance:
Maher understands that centrists are likely to get elected, which is one reason he's certain that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. "I think the odds are in her favor," he says. "I don't think the GOP has a great field, but I also think that sometimes you are just in the current of history, and she is there right now. This country, now that it's had a black president, wants a woman president."
Still, Maher is less concerned about the death of the term liberal than he is about the death of liberalism. He'd like to see a politician stand up and defend true liberal policies. "That's what I worry about," he says. "The pull to the right, in which the Democrats always find themselves caught in the undertow."
But what about Maher's future career? He wasn't getting sentimental about eventually getting tossed by HBO:
The truth is, at some point, everybody gets put out to pasture in television," he says about his weekly HBO show, Real Time. "I [recently did] my last appearance [on Jay Leno], my last appearance after — I can't even tell ya how many times Jay and I have done our little dog-and-pony show. They're putting him out to pasture, they put Johnny Carson out to pasture and they'll put me out to pasture someday. And when it ends, I'll still have stand-up. It's what I started with. It's what I end with. And it's really what is still the most fun."