Bill is very critical of teachers' unions, despite the fact that his sister is a teacher.
Bill's mother was an army veteran, serving as a nurse in WWII.
Bill has won two CableAce awards, in 1995 and 1996 for his show "Politically Incorrect."
Bill blogs regularly at "The Huffington Post", a popular Internet website run by Ariana Huffington.
Bill graduated from Cornell University with an English major.
Bill Maher is the host of "Amazon Fishbowl", a series of interviews with writers, musicians and actors etc. The show is only available on Amazon's web site.
For three years, Bill Maher drove a Toyota Prius, which was the world's first commercially mass-produced hybrid car. He now drives a Lexus RX 400h hybrid (also known as the Toyota Harrier Hybrid in Japan).
Bill Maher has a history of dating porn actresses on a serious basis, with his dating Heather Hunter and Karrine Steffans.
During the 2004 campaign, Bill and guest Michael Moore "begged" Ralph Nader to drop out of the race, with Maher opining to Ralph - "You are right, but you are not correct." Maher believed that Ralph was indeed the best man in the race to be President but since he had no chance he should drop out to prevent some voters from voting from him instead of Kerry to change the election.
Bill Maher: But when you look at the list of liberals who are active in politics, if not running. Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, Warren Beatty, Springsteen, Spielberg...And then you look at the conservatives, it's like Chuck Norris, Bo Derek and the Gatlin Brothers. I don't know if being liberal makes you more right, but it does seem like it makes you more talented.
Bill Maher: You know what I don't understand? Why does the military love Bush? I never understand. It's such a dysfunctional, abusive relationship. It's like a husband who beats up his wife, and she comes back for more. This guy is not good to the troops. He doesn't give them the armor they need. He doesn't send them where they should be fighting. I don't get it.
Bill Maher: Don't you think that being a person of faith has become a third rail in American politics? If you want to run for president nowadays, you'd better get out there and say you're a very faith-based person.
(About Pres. Bush)
Bill Maher: He was saying that we have to secure our borders, and that it's not right to prosper in America and not learn to speak English. But enough about him.
Bill Maher: The President's mother, Barbara Bush, donated tax-deductible money to the Katrina Relief after the flood. And now we find out that it was with specific instructions that the money be spent for educational software owned by her son Neil. Because who can forget those tragic images of the poor black people on rooftops in New Orleans holding up signs that said, "Send Educational Software?"
Bill Maher: I see we had a big operation - "Swarmer" - this week. There just seems to be these big operations where we take back a town that the insurgents have. But then, of course, we don't have enough troops to hold that town. So the insurgents scatter and it looks like a big "Whack-a-Mole" game.
(About Chile's new president)
Bill Maher: Michelle Bachelet is her name... She is a single mother, a socialist and an agnostic. In this country not only could she not be elected president, but her phone would be tapped by the FBI.
Bill Maher: That Dubai ports deal finally died. We have a lot of ports here in L.A. We care about this. And port security will go back to being handled by the same people who were handling it before: nobody.
Bill Maher: There's a movie about a gay cowboy. There's a movie about a gay writer. There's a movie about a transsexual. If these Oscars were any gayer, they'd be the Tonys.
Bill Maher: Bush didn't really win on his popularity last time. He won on scaring people that Kerry might do something stupid like, I don't know, sell the ports to the Arabs.
Bill Maher: But, excuse me, how would you think President Bush would feel if we said to him, "Okay, let's have your Secret Service detail be taken over by the United Arab Emirates?" "If it's okay for all of us, let's have the Arabs protect you, and just hope that ticking sound is Dick Cheney's pacemaker."
Bill Maher: Bush is in command. And when he heard that sectarian militias had killed hundreds of Iraqis, he called for an immediate invasion of Sectaria.
(On religious use of hallucinogenic tea)
Bill Maher: This was such a tough one for the Bush Administration, because on the one hand, they love anything to do with Jesus and religion. On the other hand, they hate any drug that doesn't put money in the pockets of Pfizer.
(About Cheney's shooting)
Bill Maher: To the Vice President's credit, he did own up to it. On Fox News, he said the fault is his. He can't blame anybody else. Boy, it's amazing. The only time you get accountability out of this administration is when they are actually holding "a smoking gun."
Bill Maher: So many things happened this week. This was a good week for Cheney to shoot somebody in the face, it covered up a whole lot of stuff. The congressional inquiry about Katrina came out this week. They released their findings. They said the White House ignored the warnings, they came in late, and then, of course, they did what any "small government conservative" would do: they made it a big money grab and inundated the region with bucket-loads of cash.
Bill Maher: A president can be unpopular for good reasons. You know, I'm not always on the side that the people are right, for God's sake. But, you know, he's not popular when he goes overseas. He couldn't go to Rosa Parks' funeral.
Bill Maher: To go into this endeavor in Iraq with the idea of, we're going to change the hearts and minds of the Arabs - and I've said this many times to this panel - this could work. It's not the worst idea I've ever heard. And the idea that we're trying to do something long-range, I do admire. However, to go in with this idea of saying to the Muslim people, "Wouldn't you like to be more like us?"
Bill Maher: People on the right say to people like me, "Oh, you hate America." And I always say, "No, I love America. I want it back. I don't want you representing it. I don't want torture representing it." If I hated it, I'd be okay with being represented by the torturers.
(About WH Press Corps)
Bill Maher: President Bush never really has to answer a question. Nobody ever says to him, "With due respect, sir, your answer had absolutely nothing to do with the question I asked."
(About Scooter Libby)
Bill Maher: Here's a guy who was smearing political opponents by outing somebody's wife. You know, even the mob doesn't go after your family.
(About a letter to Valerie Plame)
Bill Maher: "You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. Out west, where you vacation..." See, this is how I know it's bulls***. Who talks like this? If you vacation there, you don't have to say it. It's like bad exposition in a movie. "Ted, you're my brother." "Out west, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters. Because their roots connect them." I think the source of the leak is Walt Whitman.
Bill Maher: The New York Times - but the whole country gives it that weight. It's like the Asian kid in math class. Everybody in the media cheats off The New York Times.
Bill Maher: The president is not doing well with African Americans. His popularity rating - his approval rating - with blacks: two percent. Two percent. That is somewhere between Mark Fuhrman and sickle cell anemia.
(About police beatings)
Bill Maher: Really. If every black person had a camera in America, we could have a show every week with that.
Bill Maher: Well, I guess you heard, President Bush had a big choice that he had to make, and this week, he finally made up his mind. He's going to be Spider-Man for Halloween.
(about Harriet Miers):
Bill Maher: The first thing I don't understand about this is I reviewed some of the cases where other Supreme Court justices have recused themselves because they were too close to a case... How come this woman who has been George Bush's "bitch" -who calls him the most brilliant man she ever met - this is the one thing I know she's ever judged - why is this woman not recusing herself from the entire job?
Bill Maher: And there's no secular voice. There's no voice of me in this Cabinet. Everyone who gets appointed has to be not just Christ-y, but "Super-Christ-y," "Double-Dog-Christ-y," "Twice-Born Christ-y."
Bill Maher: There is another storm now, as you know, Rita, about to devastate the Gulf Region again. President Bush said our prayers go out, to the executives at Chevron.
Bill Maher: The other event that has people on edge this weekend, Vice President Cheney will undergo surgery for an aneurysm. And while he is under anesthetic, a man named George Bush will be in charge.
Bill Maher: We had a little disaster excitement ourselves here: The Jet Blue Airliners. An airliner full of passengers had to make an emergency landing because the landing gear got stuck, and the irony is, the crew said it could easily have been fixed if someone on board just had a pocketknife.
Bill Maher: In this country, a smart leader is suspect. That's just the way it is. Even George Bush's father, who was a lot smarter than the son, had to sort of prove that he wasn't that bright.
Bill Maher: We're not running our country down when we criticize it. We're trying to make it better.
(Concerning President Bush taking responsibility)
Bill Maher: That's not saying, "It was my fault." That's like when a parent says, after your kid knocks a ball through somebody else's window, "I take responsibility." It's not saying, "I f***ed up."
Bill Maher: You know, if there's one thing I've hated since 9/11, it's that thing I hear all the time, that everything changed. When obviously nothing changed. The best example from the hurricane was the firefighters who came from I forget where, but they were sent down there to help, and they were given - before they could get to the disaster area - eight hours of sexual harassment sensitivity training.
Bill Maher: Michael Brown, the head of FEMA, has been relieved of his command. He has been asked to return to Washington immediately. He is expected to arrive in about a week.
Bill Maher: There's a friend of mine who lives in New Orleans, is black, and I wrote down exactly, word for word, what she said, because I think it bears repeating. She said, "After 9/11, I was American. Now I'm back to being black." And I think among the feathers in George Bush's resume is that I think he has lost a whole generation of black people who might have felt that way after 9/11, and now are like, "You know what? I can't believe I started to buy into that bullshit."
Bill Maher: The administration does their old 9/11 trick "It's too early to start apportioning blame. Let's get the bodies out of the water." This is what they said after 9/11. "Let's not politicize this." Of course, it's the most political administration ever.
Bill Maher: That's all they know how to do, is public relations. I'm sure Bush is sitting around today, going, "I was hugging Negroes all day long. What do you want from me?"
Bill Maher: [Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff] said, "The critical thing was to get people out there before this disaster. Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part." And this is what I call "unintentional racism." Because this guy - that's the whole thing with the Bush people. They just can't imagine, "Why don't you just pack up your Range Rover, grab a case of Poland Spring water out of the garage, and go to your summer home? What is the problem?!" They just don't get it.
Bill Maher: If you don't know who Karen Hughes is, she's the longtime advisor to President Bush, and she is the person now who is going to take on the job of Propaganda Czar to the Arab world. And when I heard that, I said, 'Who better than Dallas-based soccer mom Karen Hughes! Who are the Muslims going to listen to more than someone like her? Who has more feel in their bones for how Muslim people think? Does Bush know more than three people?
Bill Maher: Are there Iraqi guys who are willing to stand up to this insurgency? Because obviously the insurgents are the zealots. They're the guys who are willing to do anything to win. It takes a lot to stand up to that. Are there Iraqi patriots? Do they have their John Adam's and their George Washington's over there who are going to do that?
Bill Maher: But you have been reading about what's going on with the writing of the constitution, and the fact that women may be taking a giant step backward in Iraq, because the theocrats may very well be taking over. For example, in the southern city of Basrah, I read that the police department is really just... the religious belief. Like in Saudi Arabia. They've just been enforcing the Shiite mentality, which is that, you know, any woman who wears makeup gets her head cut off. Women are not advancing in Iraq.
Bill Maher: I mean, maybe one day we will live in a more optimum world where terrorists come in every color of the rainbow. But the truth is, now they don't. I mean, the people who are trying to get us are young Muslim men, period.
Bill Maher: The thing that I found disturbing about this - and I'm not a conspiracy theorist - is that everybody agrees there were irregularities. And when you say that, the Republicans go, "Well, shit happens." Except that all the shit favored Bush. All the shit that happened seemed to favor one guy.
Bill Maher: Is it like gay men go into the priesthood because they figure, "Well, this'll solve my problem. I can't be a homosexual in the priesthood; it'll just go away. Maybe I'll try it with the Republican Party."
Bill Maher: Don't say a woman is crazy just because she runs away from her wedding.
Bill Maher: Let me read a quote from Kim Jong Il. He said this just the other day, I think. He's talking about President Bush, and he said, "He is a half-baked man in terms of morality and a philistine whom we can never deal with. His remarks often stun audiences as they reveal his utter ignorance." Now, if the Democrats had had the guts to talk about Bush like that, wouldn't we now be dealing with President Kerry?
(Discussing the Pope)
Bill Maher: He sent a letter in 2001, to every bishop at every church around the world, saying, "If there is an allegation of abuse against a kid, investigate it within the church. Keep it secret. Don't go to the police." Now, in this country, we call that obstruction of justice. If he wasn't the pope, wouldn't he - or at least shouldn't he be arrested?
Bill Maher: I don't understand why they are defending this guy. He is a raging diplomat. That just seems like a contradiction. I think this guy would be perfect as head of Homeland Security. If you need a "rip off your head and shit down your neck" kind of guy, why don't we put him head of making the airports better? But as far as our top diplomat, it seems insane that this is the guy they want for this job.
Bill Maher: Why doesn't Bush get the opprobrium that he deserves from the right wing, from everybody, for this? Why does it have to be "he's on my team, we have to pretend and twist ourselves into some sort of a pretzel to defend this?" Shouldn't he be getting a bashing for not improving airport security even though he's on your team?
Bill Maher: Let's get real about Pope John Paul, who - Bush, you know, came back from his funeral, said, 'He's the greatest guy.' They love John Paul. John Paul said this country was a 'bunch of soulless cash whores, too much into materialism, living on the backs of the poor.' He was against the death penalty. He was against the war in Iraq. Let's face it, if he wasn't the Pope, Bush and his team would have savaged this guy the way they do Michael Moore.
Bill Maher: When Bush picks this guy, General Hayden, to be head of the CIA, that actually is what Karl Rove wants. Because they want a battle where they're saying, "We're the Republicans. We're going to protect you at any costs, where the Democrats are for laws and all that pansy bullsh**."
Bill Maher: If turning on my cell phone can bring down your commercial airliner, build a better plane. Right? I mean, the number of people who carry hand-held electrical devices these days equals the number of people who have hands. To give them all veto power over whether the other passengers live or die seems like a flaw in the system.
Bill Maher: The Bush Administration is always saying, "We don't hear the good news." Yeah, because the journalists are saying, "Cover me, I'm going to the ice machine."
Bill Maher: And on the Republican side, boy, this was a shock. They made Trent Lott - remember Trent Lott? They made him the minority whip! And he was very excited until he found out he would not be actually whipping minorities.
Bill Maher: There was a story in the news this week, Jack Straw, who used to be the foreign minister of Great Britain now I think he's the leader of the House of Commons - he said that he does not want to talk to women in burkhas. He said it is a visible statement of separation and difference. And, you know what? I agree with him. I think a lot of people think tolerance goes to the level of tolerating intolerance. And, to me, the burkha is a symbol of intolerance.
(Discussing the 2006 mid-term election)
Bill Maher: This was an amazing week. Democrats won in places they were never even competitive before. Like America.
Bill Maher: But it's amazing that a certain number of people have to very predictably die while politicians wait for cover. I guess that's just the way the world is.
Bill Maher: I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but I swear to God, I think it's in the interest of corporations to keep the people stupid. And the best way to keep the people stupid is by having the people who inform them be even stupider. And when I see this coverage of this guy, this John Mark Karr guy, I'm like, is the media kidding? This guy - how would - how could he be the burglar? JonBenet was not famous until she was murdered. They talk about him like he was the guy who killed John Lennon. But John Lennon was famous before. I think it's just - they just like to go after the story because JonBenet sells papers.
Bill Maher: This week George Bush said that Cheney and Rumsfeld are doing a fantastic job. And that he is - quote - 'pleased with the progress we're making in Iraq.' I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think we have another president with Alzheimer's Disease.
(Bill Maher's response about his wearing a Crocodile Hunter costume, with a bloody stingray barb sticking out of his chest.)
Bill Maher: People who really love animals understand if you get killed by one, chances are you were doing something to it you shouldn't have been, You want me to apologize for making a joke? Who do you think I am, John Kerry?
Bill Maher: We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly.
(February 17, 2006)
Bill Maher: No, let's go to New Rules. How about that? All right, ready? (slide of Olympic luger) New Rule: If you play a sport where most of the speed comes from gravity, you're not an athlete, you're a weight.
Bill Maher: Who takes care of their people better? FEMA or Hezbollah?
(Made on 2/17/2006)
Bill Maher: So many things happened this week. This was a good week for Cheney to shoot somebody in the face, it covered up a whole lot of stuff. The congressional inquiry about Katrina came out this week. They released their findings. They said the White House ignored the warnings, they came in late, and then, of course, they did what any 'small government conservative' would do: they made it a big money grab and inundated the region with bucket-loads of cash.
Bill Maher: To the Vice President's credit, he did own up to it. On Fox News, he said the fault is his. He can't blame anybody else. Boy, it's amazing. The only time you get accountability out of this administration is when they are actually holding 'a smoking gun.'
Bill Maher: It's not terrorists we're talking about. It's people accused of terrorism. I think law enforcement are the good guys. I think the military are the good guys. But they're not the perfect guys. They make mistakes.
Bill Maher: You know, it is a shame what happened to think tanks they used to produce valuable apolitical analysis, but partisanship crept into many of them and the Bush Administration doesn't just come up with something as stupid as, "If we leave now they'll follow us home." No, they have someone from a think tank say it first. It's a way to lend respectability. The same reason a titty bar has food.
Bill Maher: And finally, new rule in two parts: (A) You can't call yourself a think tank if all your ideas are stupid; and (B) If you're someone from one of the think tanks that dreamed up the Iraq War and who predicted that we'd be greeted as liberators, and that we wouldn't need a lot of troops, and that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, that the WMD's would be found, that the looting wasn't problematic, that the mission was accomplished, that the insurgency was in its last throes, that things would get better after the people voted, after the government was formed, after we got Saddam, after we got his kids, after we got Zarqawi, and that the whole bloody mess wouldn't turn into a civil war, you have to stop making predictions.
Bill Maher: You know, there is a name for people who are always wrong about everything all the time -- husbands.
Bill Maher: Kristol of course is revered by much of the right because he was Dan Quayle's chief of staff, and was known as Quayle's Brain. Which sounded impressive until I remembered that Dan Quayle didn't have a brain. And now Mr. Kristol proposes immediate action against Iran predicting the Iranians will thank us for it. Hey, you know what, Nostradamus, why don't you sit this one out? We'll get by using the magic 8-ball for a while, because you guys have been so wrong about so much for so long that people are actually turning to the Democrats.
Bill Maher: So, we can say Iraq was a noble experiment, if that helps you. Our intention was good. To penetrate Iraq and bring it to a glorious euphoric climax, but it's clear now that just isn't going to happen, and yet we're still pounding away. Causing the whole area to become painfully inflamed, and in that situation the kindest thing you can do is just pull out.
Bill Maher: If we overturn Roe v. Wade, won't there be more back alley abortions, again? I mean, how many kids can Angelina Jolie adopt?
Bill Maher: To me a real patriot is like a real friend. Who's your real friend? It's the person who tells you the truth. That's who my real friends are. So, you know, I think as far as our country goes, we need more people who will do that.
Bill Maher: Men are only as loyal as their options.
Bill Maher: Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don't need.
Bill Maher: We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think religion stops people from thinking. I think it justified crazies.
Bill Maher: Kids. They're not easy. But there has to be some penalty for sex.
Bill Maher: George Bush says, 'Gore's book needs a lot of explaining.' Of course, Bush says that about every book.
Bill Maher: We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.
Bill Maher: I don't dislike children, I just don't particularly want to be around with them a lot. Problem is, neither do their parents.