After taking last week off, Bill Maher was back with a new episode of “Real Time” on Friday. And he opened the show with a monologue that covered three main topics: the ongoing, gradual process of reopening the country during the pandemic; Obamagate; and Donald Trump’s claim that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine.
“I love Memorial Day, you know. I’m glad it’s come because, finally, I get a chance to just kick back and hang around the house,” Maher joked to open his monologue. “We all should love Memorial Day. It’s when we remember the brave Americans who put their lives on the line to protect our way of life. I’m talking of course about the delivery people from GrubHub.”
Maher started on the real topics, beginning with Trump declaring on Monday that he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative against the coronavirus.
‘Remember hydroxychloroquine? The stuff that they were saying was going to be the big cure-all, and then they were like, ‘Nah, this s— doesn’t work, it’s not for this’?” Maher asked, rhetorically. “And then Trump now says he’s on it. He’s taking it. And not only that, he got mad at the Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto because Neil Cavuto heard him say, ‘I’m taking this stuff,’ and Neil Cavuto said, ‘Yeah, that’ll kill you.’
“Trump, ugh, this man. First he says let’s try drinking household disinfectants. Now, he’s on this s—. Today Vladimir Putin said, ‘I hope I don’t have to poison this motherf—er, I don’t think we have anything strong enough.'”
Maher said that, like so many others, he’s struggling to comprehend what’s going on here.
“Now this drug is for people who have lupus or malaria. So wrap your mind around this. The President of the United States has put himself on a drug for two diseases he does not have. Also, he’s starting on something next week for vaginitis, just to be safe,” Maher quipped. “I don’t get this Donald Trump. He’s never had a drink. Never did pot. No drugs in college. But at the age of 73, Laura Ingraham comes by and says, ‘Hey man, put this on your tongue’ and he’s, like, ‘I’m all in.'”
Maher then changed the subject to, well, Trump changing the subject.
“But, of course, he always is the master of changing the subject. This week it was to Obamagate. ‘Obamagate, what a scandal.’ Already losing steam, this scandal, because it lacks that crucial ingredient that most scandals need to have: an allegation,” Maher said. “Trump fans are ready to be all angry at this but they don’t know what it is. Even Glenn Beck’s chalkboard says, ‘To be determined.'”
For the remainder of his opening monologue, Maher took a less serious tone as he delivered some zingers about various states’ attempts to reopen as the pandemic continues.
“But look, I guess the bright side of this is that all 50 states now are at least partially open. But again, no plan, no consistencies. It’s the opposite of Afghanistan. We have no entrance strategy,” he said. “The theme seems to be you can go out but you can’t have fun. What married people call date night. For example, California has reopened some parks, beaches, hiking trails, but again the inconsistencies. You can walk on the beach, but you can’t congregate. And yet the restrooms are open for gay sex.”
And, of course, he couldn’t help but make a joke about the favorite activity of so many Angelenos.
“Oh hiking, that’s very big out here. You know hiking, people are always going hiking. You know what hiking is? That’s when a guy and a girl walk up the mountain because she wants exercise and he thinks it’s a date,” Maher joked.
“Georgia, of course, one of the first states to reopen. Again, inconsistent. You can go to the Waffle House to eat but the ban remains on parking lot fistfights. In Georgia and in Texas, they opened the churches and then they had to re-close them because people got the disease. And you know, look, I make fun of religion but I can’t blame people for wanting to go to church in person and have that experience. There’s just something about speaking in tongues over Zoom that makes you feel like an idiot.”
“Real Time With Bill Maher” airs on Friday nights at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on HBO.
Watch the full monologue above.