|USA||2003||60||Talk-Show . News . Talk . Comedy|
Real Time with Bill Maher includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists, and interviews with in-studio and satellite guests. Politico hailed Maher as "a pugnacious debater and a healthy corrective to the claptrap of cable news," while Variety noted, "There may not be a more eclectic guest list on all of television."
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But as for the overall approach, it's hard to nick any latenighter that actually tries to say something and doesn't have a sidekick or a bandleader. From the Twin Tower reconstruction efforts to duct tape mania to his ceremonial kick in the ass after ABC dumped him, Maher alone is ready to take on the universe, and that's a gutsier fight than most.Variety Full Review
This effort should be called "Hollywood Babble On." [14 Mar 2003, p.37]Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
Even for many liberals there is something inherently silly about actors' staking out a high moral ground from Bel Air mansions and Aspen-bound private jets. [14 Mar 2003, p.E1]The New York Times Full Review
There's also more of Maher in the new show, and it's no big surprise that more Maher is less. He's a jerk of the old school, full of unexamined anxiety and arrogance, with a habit of using sexual stereotypes from half a century ago both to put down and to compliment people. [17 Mar 2003, p.152]The New Yorker Full Review
Why would HBO, cable's most innovative network ... think it's a good idea to let Bill Maher bring the skeleton of his canceled ABC show, 'Politically Incorrect,' and stuff it into the tattered corpse of 'Dennis Miller Live'?Entertainment Weekly Full Review