Maher scorches pandering late-night hosts: ‘What they do is say exactly what a liberal audience wants them to say’

Bill Maher was discussing the future of late-night TV with comedian Jim Gaffigan and the “Real Time” host took a shot at Stephen Colbert and other late-night hosts for pandering to their liberal audiences.

According to Maher, Colbert and the others don’t offer their own “takes” on current events, regurgitating instead points of view they know their audiences want to hear. This assessment coming after Gaffigan explained that Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon have been around for so long because fans “develop a relationship” with them and want to hear their “take about the day.”

“It’s not a take. Those guys don’t have takes,” Maher insisted. “I have takes. I have a take on things. What they do is say exactly what a liberal audience wants them to say about that. That’s not a take. I mean, I’m not saying it’s not sincere. I guess it is on their part. But even if it wasn’t, that’s what they would do. There’s never a moment where you don’t know exactly — ‘oh this is the correct point of view on that.'”

The exchange was part of Sunday’s episode of Maher’s “Club Random” podcast, spurred in part by the writers’ strike that’s been going on for more than 120 days and has forced all the late-night shows off the air.

“I love all those guys, I do, but… the formula of ‘Real Time,’ obviously it’s less of a celebrity interview, turn and burn thing, but like it hasn’t felt any of the effects of that,” Gaffigan said. “Like I think this strike is going to kill the late-night show that we grew up with.”

“Why is the strike killing it?” Maher asked. “I don’t get it.”

“Well, because it’s off the air,” Gaffigan replied.

Maher questioned how late-night programming as an “art form” has lasted this long given today’s entertainment options.

“This is, again, no knock on the guys who do it, but I don’t know how this art form has survived up until now,” Maher said. “I understand why I’m on because I’m on HBO. It’s an hour without commercials. And I mean, sorry, it’s a lot more entertaining, it’s a lot more edgy, it’s a lot more unpredictable. And it’s true talk. I get that. What I don’t get is this era of watching- what sponsors are sponsoring a show that’s on after most people go to bed in an era when you can do anything at any time.”

“You can watch anything — you get into bed, you can watch Netflix, you can watch HBO, you can watch YouTube, you can watch anything that was ever made, or do video games,” he continued. “Even if you wanted to watch this late-night stuff, wouldn’t you watch it sometime when you could zip through the commercials and just see the stuff you like? It just seems so anachronistic. I don’t know how it survives until now.”


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