Bill Maher shared in a new interview that he sees a difference between the liberals who come out to see him, even in red states, and the “woke” liberals he doesn’t identify with. Namely, the “woke” ones have gone “off the deep end,” he said.
“I attract mostly a liberal crowd, but liberal is different than woke,” he told AL.com when asked what he enjoys about performing in southern states. “To me, woke, if we want to use that broad term, is something that is not an extension of liberalism. It’s very often the opposite of what an old school liberal like me believes. I’ve never been someone who was part of any specific party, per se. I usually vote Democratic, but it depends on the person. Certainly in the age of Trump, they’re never going to get me there with the Republicans. But there are many Republicans who are not Trump Republicans. And they have a good point, that there is that faction of the left that we will call ‘woke’ who’s gone of the deep end.”
Maher doesn’t see his categorizations as divisive. In fact, he told the local Alabama outlet that he is in favor of the opposite of division: “I was in Nashville three or four months ago, I think the audience there was almost 50-50 between conservatives and liberals, which is quite a trick, I must say, in this era of a lack of bipartisanship, where everything is binary. Gender may not be binary, but politics sure is right now. It was great to see where there were people who don’t agree politically who can get in the same room. There were a few groans from the right when I said something bad about them, and some from the left when that happened. But basically everyone laughed together. And we have to get back to that.”
Maher called for politically engaged people to “get over” the urge to fight constantly and create memes about what they perceive as the other side. He also bemoaned partisanship in comedy itself, decried politically correct approaches and urged comedians to be more centered.
Though he has always maintained he is left-leaning, Maher’s own politically incorrect comments — typically delivered on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” — have sparked controversy numerous times in the past.