Bill MaherComedian / TV Personality
Born: 20 January 1956
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: Former host of ABC's Politically Incorrect
Bill Maher is a stand-up comedian and a self-made political savant on the TV shows Politically Incorrect and Real Time with Bill Maher. He grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Cornell University in 1978 and started his stand-up comedy career right out of college. During the 1980s he toured and appeared on TV, and in 1993 he started Politically Incorrect on the cable channel Comedy Central. On the show Maher and a panel of celebrity guests cracked wise while griping about government, religion and human stupidity in general. A hit on Comedy Central, it was picked up by ABC in 1997 and ran until the summer of 2002. Maher's one-man Broadway show, Victory Begins at Home, ran in 2003 and was nominated for Tony Award, and Real Time with Bill Maher -- a live show in the same format as Politically Incorrect -- made its debut on HBO the same year. Maher's knack for getting laughs while raising eyebrows has kept the show a perennial Emmy nominee, and he keeps his name in the papers with occasional outrageous remarks.
Extra credit: On the 17 September 2001 broadcast of Politically Incorrect Maher argued that the men who attacked New York and Washington, D.C. on 11 September were not "cowardly." He went on to suggest that the United States was cowardly for bombing from a safe distance. His remarks caused some sponsors to pull advertising from ABC, and some affiliates refused to run Maher's show. ABC publicly supported Maher.
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