UPDATED with video It wasn’t exactly Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer on The Dick Cavett Show, but Australian comedian Jim Jefferies and Piers Morgan certainly weren’t joking around on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher tonight. (Watch the video below.)
When the British Morgan proclaimed that Trump’s so-far-failed executive order was “not a Muslim ban,” Jefferies snapped, “Oh, f*ck off. This is what you do, Piers. You say ‘He hasn’t done this, he hasn’t done that, he’s not going to do all these things’. Give him a f*cking chance mate – Hitler didn’t kill the Jews on the first day, he worked up to it.”
When Morgan called the analogy “ridiculous, hysterical over-the-top nonsense,” Jefferies got personal.
“You just like that you won The Apprentice and you have a famous friend, mate.”
Said Morgan, noting the crowd’s surprise, “You’re losing your audience because you’re sounding unpleasant…”
“Am I losing you?” Jefferies asked the crowd – he wasn’t – then flipped off Morgan.
The exchange came about three-quarters into the episode, after Morgan had repeatedly called for Maher and anti-Trump Americans to “take a chill pill” and “save the outrage.”
“If you want to demonize him it has to be fair to be effective,” Morgan said at one point before Jefferies went ballistic.
Morgan got the last word – offscreen anyway – after the show, when he tweeted this:
The testy back-and-forth took a bit of the steam out of Maher’s subsequent end-of-show New Rules segment (usually the angriest moment of Real Time) about fake news. The brief argument even out-heated the show’s opening interview with Senator Al Franken, who warned an impeachment-hoping Maher that Democrats can offer “no quick fix” on that front.
“Let me remind you that Republicans are in the majority,” Franken said, then added a wry, “so I think (an impeachment) is months and months away.”
Also on tonight’s show: activist Karine Jean-Pierre and filmmaker John Waters, who was no slouch with the insults: