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Gossip & Rumors: Bill Maher Likens Stopping Stand Up To 'cutting

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Bill Maher likens stopping stand-up to ‘cutting off a limb’

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At the end of 2024, Bill Maher will release a stand-up comedy special, and then it may be stage curtains for the controversial comedian.

During a conversation with guest Jerry Seinfeld on his “Club Random” podcast, Maher revealed that while he will continue to host his HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher,” his forthcoming special may mark the end of his stand-up career.

“I’m going to stop doing [stand-up],” he told Seinfeld, 70, on the May 6 episode.

“I could go back. I don’t want to make a big announcement or something,” Maher, 68, continued. “I’m doing a special at the end of the year. It’ll be my 13th for HBO. That’s a lot.”

Television host and comedian Bill Maher is calling curtains on his stand-up career. WireImage

Defending his decision, Maher noted the dedication stand-up requires.

“I put a lot of time and effort into it because, as you know, stand-up is like playing the cello. You can’t just walk up there. You have to stay in practice. And I do,” he said. “I’ve always loved it. I’m always working on it. But I have a show.”  

Maher has hosted “Real Time With Bill Maher” since 2003, and before that, “Politically Incorrect” from 1993 to 2002. For the past 30 years, Maher has continued to perform stand-up while maintaining his hosting duties.

Maher is also an accomplished writer; the author of six books, his latest, “What This Comedian Said Will Shock You,” will be released later this month.

Maher revealed his planned retirement to fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld on Maher’s podcast “Club Random.” FilmMagic

Noting Maher’s long list of professional commitments and accomplishments, Seinfeld seemed to agree with his friend’s decision to hang it up on stand-up, “I don’t know how you kept it up during the show, or frankly, why.”

Maher explained that stand-up offered his comedy less constriction in terms of content.

“Because they fed each other, it was so great, and also because I love it. I can be the loosest — the show’s great, but there’s constrictors there … what’s looser than just, you people paying to see me?” he said. “Even if you don’t like it, you kind of have to laugh.”

Bill Maher credits stand-up with allowing him the max amount of creative freedom.

Maher suggested that a break from stand-up would free him to explore other avenues. “If I don’t have to practice the cello eight hours a day, I might want to do some of these kinds of things [like the podcast] live,” Maher said. “That’s kind of an interesting option that people do nowadays. It’s kind of an event.”

While he seems set on retirement for the moment, Maher was quick to note how significant a role stand-up has played in his life and career.

“After 40 years, that’s why I don’t want to make an announcement like, ‘This is my final…,’ ” he said. “I might change my mind. It might be like cutting off a limb, and I have to go back to it.”

For the past 30 years, Maher has continued to practice stand-up while hosting television shows. Real Time with Bill Maher

Emotional amputation notwithstanding, Maher has been very open, onstage and on-air, with his opinions on President Biden’s policies, the COVID-19 pandemic, pandering politicians, the Israel-Gaza war, The New York Times and Kanye West.

The outspoken comedian also, allegedly, can’t stop toking; this yea,r sober stuntman Steve-O revealed that Maher invited him on his podcast but refused to cease his pot smoking.

“Real Time With Bill Maher” airs Friday nights at 10 p.m. on HBO, and is streaming on Max. New episodes of Maher’s “Club Random” drop every Monday. 



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