This week, comic book legend and pop culture icon Stan Lee died and while his fans, colleagues, and members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe mourned his death, Bill Maher addressed his death from another angle.
On the Real Time With Bill Maher blog, Maher recognized that the world is mourning Lee’s death but then, with his on-brand outspoken rhetoric, went into the relationship adults have with comic books. “Now, I have nothing against comic books – I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys,” he wrote in a blog post titled ‘Adulting’. “But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.”
He went on to say that 20 years ago, adults didn’t give up “kid stuff” and says that they have “pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature.” He adds that there are over 4,500 colleges in America and that “we need more professors than we have smart people” before saying that “dumb people got to be professors” for writing theses about comic books.
“And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it “adulting,” and act like it’s some giant struggle,” he said.
He concludes by saying, “The problem is, we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”
The post seems less about Stan Lee’s death and more about the country’s obsession with comic books and the movies that accompany them.
Maher’s commentary comes shortly after Armie Hammer fired off a sarcastic tweet about Stan Lee’s death saying: “So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee… no better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself.”
The tweet immediately drew backlash and he has since deleted it and posted an apology. “While attempting to provide unnecessary social commentary about the current selfie culture, I (in true asshat form — thank you Jeffrey Dean Morgan) inadvertently offended many who were genuinely grieving the loss of a true icon,” he said. “I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart and will be working on my Twitter impulse control.”