William Shatner Tells Bill Maher It’s OK to Say How Old He Is, ‘But When They Clap…’ | Video

Meanwhile, Maher also jokes about current events, including the Arizona abortion ban, in his monologue

A feisty William Shatner was the top of the show guest on Friday’s episode of “Real Time With Bill Maher.” The “Star Trek” legend seemed to be having a lot of (good-natured) fun at Maher’s expense, leaning into being 93 years old.

But at the end of their chat, when Maher remarked on how good Shatner looks at 93 — he isn’t wrong, the Captain’s cosmetic surgeon (WE ASSUME) is clearly a genius — the audience cheered. At that, Shatner quipped, “I don’t mind if you say my age, you know. But when they clap…” Which naturally drew huge laughs from the audience.

Before that was Maher’s monologue, which covered a range of topics from the week — we know you’re familiar with them. One of the funnier bits came when the comedian brought up the draconian abortion ban in Arizona.

“Gotta be careful with your love life, I feel like that’s the theme of the show this week,” Maher said as he launched into the subject. “Because I don’t know if you saw what’s going on in Arizona — anybody here from Arizona of birthing age? Because the Arizona Supreme Court, they breathed new life, ironically, into a very old law.”

A brief catch-up: on Tuesday, Arizona’s ultra-conservative Supreme Court ruled that all of the state’s abortion laws are void — except one, a total ban that was passed into law in 1864. Yes, 1864. The law doesn’t make exceptions for victims of rape or incest — and why would it? At the time the law was passed, child rape was legal in Arizona.

Maher explained how the law “says basically, abortion, absolutely no way, no how. That’s been a Republican slogan on abortion.”

Then he quipped, “Life begins at Reconstruction. Because the law is from 1864. 1864. Lincoln was months away from getting shot. Women and minorities couldn’t vote. The age of consent was 10. Finally, we have an answer to the MAGA nation question: When was America great?”

As for the Shatner interview, their chat was ostensibly about Shatner’s new documentary, “William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill,” as well as a new album of music he’s releasing. But it was mainly a chance for him to drop quips in response to Maher’s questions. And yes, he also appeared at times to lose the thread a little. But who cares — he’s 93, right?

It often wasn’t clear if Maher was getting politely and respectfully exasperated with the experience or if he was playing along — we generously assume the latter. Shatner was often quick with bon mots and made the crowd laugh repeatedly.

They also discussed some of Shatner’s “Trek” history, including the episode in which he and Nichelle Nichols kissed, which was the first interracial kiss in American TV history. You can watch William Shatner and Bill Maher discuss that particular point at the top of this page.

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