Ed Driscoll

You Stay Classy, Bill Maher

Bill Maher isn’t letting the quick implosion of the Washington Post’s “bullying” story about Mitt Romney’s teenage days from stopping him embarrassing himself:

Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Conan show on TBS, HBO comedian Bill Maher absurdly suggested that recent allegations that Mitt Romney engaged in “bullying” in high school are worse than being molested by Michael Jackson, and asserted that he would be willing trade being beat up in grade school for being “gently masturbated by a pop star.”

Apparently, that last phrase is a stock part of Maher’s shtick; he’s used it before — here’s an excerpt from his May 3, 2005 appearance on the CBS Late Late Show, hosted by Craig Ferguson:

Bill Maher: “I think that there is no perspective. People have no perspective, especially about crime. You know, zero tolerance. You know, of course, nobody ever wants to see a child, you know, diddled. That’s just plain wrong. But even the people who are testifying against him, they’re saying that he serviced them. They didn’t service him.”

Craig Ferguson: “You don’t have kids, do you, Bill?”

Maher: “No.”

Ferguson: “No. I have a son. It makes me crazy, this thing, this Michael Jackson thing. It drives me, the idea of someone touching my kid, I would go, I nearly swore there. I’d go crazy.”

Maher: “Very wrong. But, you know, I remember when I was a kid. I was savagely beaten once by bullies in the schoolyard. Savagely beaten. If I had a choice between being savagely beaten and being gently masturbated by a pop star. It’s just me.”

Ferguson: “The always controversial Bill Maher, everybody.”

Maher: “What? That’s it?”

Ferguson: “Bill Maher. We’ll be right back with Rain Pryor.”

Based on that transcript, and the clip I once watched of the incident (which may still be available on YouTube), Ferguson had the good sense to get Maher off the air as quickly as possible. Would that Maher’s employers at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO have a similar level of decorum.