Update with video Bill Maher summed it up. “It’s been a tough week for the line,” the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher said at the top of tonight’s show, then explained which line he meant: “The one that comedians sometimes cross.”
“Roseanne will always be a friend of mine,” Maher said about the now ex-sitcom star before launching into a monologue stuffed with jokes (some really good ones) about her.
Her tweets, he said, “have been described as abhorrent bordering on presidential,” and that Barr “has said she has multiple personalities – and unfortunately one of them is quite a racist.”
“It’s also not a mystery to me how a person with mental illness could be taken in by a party that has lost its mind.”
After showing Barr’s racist tweet about Obama administration aide Valerie Jarrett – “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj” – Maher said he didn’t quite get it. “Because I don’t have a decoder ring – I have no f*cking clue what you wing nuts in your bubble are talking about.”
Maher then pivoted to Samantha Bee, who rivaled Barr this week for instant internet backlash. Bee, Maher said, outraged President Donald Trump by calling daughter Ivanka a certain word: Feckless. “He doesn’t know what it means,” Maher shot, then in his best Trumpian impression said, “Maybe in the whole history of the world nobody is loaded with more feck than Ivanka, and I say that very strongly.”
Maher inevitably got to his history of comparing a politico to a primate. Reminding viewers that he was sued by Trump in 2013 after offering the Apprentice host $5 million to prove he was the offspring of Fred Trump and not an orangutan, Maher offered four “key facts” to explain the difference between his ape joke and Barr’s tweet.
Number 1, Maher said, is that “Trump is an orangutan.” Number 2: “White people have not been subjected to a racist trope comparing them to apes for hundreds of years.” Number 3: The orangutan snipe was a response to Trump’s “birtherism racist bullsh*t.”
And Number 4: “I’ve already been fired by ABC.”
Maher also resurrected his catchphrase term for Trump – “whiny little b*itch” – for the president’s complaint that he, unlike Jarrett, didn’t get an apology from Disney CEO Bob Iger for ABC’s various slings and arrows over the years.
Said Maher, “This guy could tweet about the Hawaii volcano and he’d make it about him. I’m orange and gassy! Where’s my headline?“
Later in the show, guest Charlamagne Tha God, co-host of iHeartRadio’s The Breakfast Club and author of the bestselling Black Privilege, took issue with Maher’s mental illness explanation for Barr’s racism. “Eh,” said Charlamagne. “We’re leaning on that a lot nowadays.”
“I don’t think calling a black woman a monkey is smart when your boss is a black woman,” Charlamagne said, referring to Channing Dungey, ABC Entertainment Group’s executive president.
And no, he said, he doesn’t feel sorry for the Roseanne cast and crew.
“When you get in bed with somebody like that,” he said, “you have to deal with the consequences of their actions.”