For those who love controversy, it seems only fitting that Real Time With Bill Maher is returning the same weekend that Tim Tebow’s Denver Broncos are appearing in the playoffs.
Maher has been on hiatus the last several weeks, but that didn’t stop the outspoken atheist from making the news. His unprovoked jabs on Twitter at the devoutly religious Tebow not only upset Christians and football fans, but it has led some to call for a boycott of his HBO show. Of course that just means more people will likely tune in tonight (10pm ET) to see if Maher steps up his verbal barrage against the Denver quarterback even more.
The roundtable guests this week are commentator David Frum, director Rob Reiner and Fla. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but the big get for the show will be an interview with former presidential candidate Herman Cain.
The lure of Real Time for many viewers is the combination of humor and politics. The opening monologue and popular closing bit “New Rules” provide the laughs, but the political debates can get very spirited in between. The show has been labeled as very liberal, so it goes without saying that it is at its best when Maher has conservative guests like Cain to provide opposing views.
Love him or hate him — and believe me there are many people in both of those camps — I do find it odd that some people are so appalled by his words given his body of work. Keep in mind that this is the same guy who used to host a show called Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, who wrote a book titled The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, and who produced and starred in the irreverent 2008 feature film Religulous.
Tebow has taken the high road in this controversy by not responding, and he will most likely be praising God Saturday night regardless of the outcome of the game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. It will certainly be interesting to see tonight if Maher opts to take that same road or if he goes for the proverbial jugular.