Review: Bill Maher Live at The Cap

Maher at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY: "I want to reach the conservatives, but they’re such drama queens."

Bill Maher is on the short list of standup comedians who can fill a theater. Like Lewis Black, he's a political comic, but fans of Real Time and his movie Religulous come to hear a steaming plateful of irreverence, with a couple of pot jokes tossed in.

Maher played the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York Saturday night. "I grew up very close to here," he said at the start, referring to nearby Bergen County in Northern New Jersey. The first half of his 90-minute performance was pure politics, with Maher rattling off remarks and jokes about G.W. Bush, John McCain, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, the Koch Brothers, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Benghazi, the Tea Party, Iraq and Syria, He defended Pres. Obama, as expected, from the usual right wing attacks. "I want to reach the conservatives," he said," but they're such drama queens. They're always going crazy about nothing."

Maher’s originally from New Jersey.

He veered into religious territory in the second half of the show, calling the Bible "an old book of Jewish fairy tales about Bronze Age desert dwellers." Maher wondered why Pope Francis recently took a stand against marijuana legalization. "Why does he even have to comment about that?" he asked. "It's not even his jurisdiction."

Maher noted that "a third of the country has medical marijuana and two states have regular roll-up-a-fatty marijuana," and reminded the audience that he's "done every drug known to man."

Like the greats who came before him - George Carlin, Lenny Bruce and Robert Klein - Maher has terrific timing, excellent material and a powerful stage presence. He can be pretty profane and somewhat dirty, but mostly Maher preaches his liberal message to the converted - in this case an older audience who hooted and hollered with each swift jab at Republican idiocy.

"To them it's an onslaught of black, pot, gay and Latin," he explained. "It's like the '60s dorm party they never got invited to."

Watch Real Time with Bill Maher, Fridays on HBO, and catch him in concert at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey tonight and at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on June 28.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.