HBO has renewed Real Time with Bill Maher for two additional seasons of 35 episodes each, keeping him on the schedule at least thorugh the next presidential election cycle, the network announced today at Winter TV Press Tour 2015.
Maher’s been much in the news of late. Last night, he was a guest on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and told its host, in re the slaughter of 12 at the Paris office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, “We have to stop saying when something like this that happened in Paris today, we have to stop saying, well, we should not insult a great religion. First of all, there are no great religions. They’re all stupid and dangerous. And we should insult them and we should be able to insult whatever we want. That is what free speech is like.”
That comment comes not long after Maher finally delivered that commencemetn speech at UC Berkeley. Maher made headlines for that too, when a group of Berkeley students who’d invited the outspoken, politically minded avowed athiest TV comic/TV show host to deliver their December commencement speech tried to un-invite him after he made an outspoken, politically minded, avowwed athiest comment on his HBO late night show.
In an October edition of Real Time, he told Ben Affleck, Islam “is the only religion that acts like the mafia that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”
Berkeley administrators stepped in and told the students to peel an eel, explaining, “This university has not in the past, and will not in the future, shy away from hosting speakers who some deem provocative.” Maher delivered the speech last month, saying, “never forget that we are lucky to live in a country that has a First Amendment. Liberals should want to own it the way conservatives own the Second,” adding, “If you call yourself a liberal, you have to fight oppression from wherever it comes… that’s what makes you a liberal.”