Throughout his first show back after 2 weeks off thanks to testing positive for COVID-19, Bill Maher was grumpy about quite a lot of things, especially the “malignant narcissism” of celebrity wannabe politicians.
Maher laid into “recurring celebrities running for higher office,” particularly California gubernatorial wannabe Caitlyn Jenner, which he called a “recurring nightmare we cannot seem to shake,” during the “New Rules” segment of the episode.
Along with Jenner, Maher listed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Randy Quaid and Matthew McConaughey as people who “have suggested lately that when it comes to running the country, they have what it takes. And they do: Malignant narcissism.”
“Did we all just not witness the cautionary tale named Donald Trump? The last 4 years was a warning, not an inspiration,” Maher continued. “You were supposed to see that and think ‘I guess high level government jobs should go to people who’ve trained for it, and know what they’re doing.”
“I’m sure Caitlyn Jenner is a nice person, but as California governor she would be in charge of the world’s 5th largest economy. Based on her qualifications of being a background character in a reality show not about her,” Maher said, going on to also ding Quaid.
Maher complained that government has turned into “the safety school for when the guest spots on ‘Chicago Fire’ dry up” and like it’s “the lowest rung of celebrity,” adding “government is a difficult, nuanced job with people’s lives, and livelihoods at stake.”
Maher then favorably mentioned the Biden administration, “people back in charge who spent their formative years not on a sound stage, but studying the stuff you need to know to be effective on the world stage.”
Maher joked that he isn’t saying celebrities haven’t achieved anything. “The Rock proved that weightlifters can drive, Matthew introduced Lincolns to stoners, and Caitlyn married the woman who married the guy who defended OJ,” he said. “And it’s not that they aren’t actors, it’s that they’re not professionals in this other field.”
Maher listed a few of the “thousand things you have to know before taking office,” and made the point that these aren’t matters that someone can “pick up on the afternoon of the inauguration. You can’t learn it on the fly, you can’t fix it in post. Putin’s not on a green screen and he doesn’t give a s— about your million-dollar smile.”
Maher also made a joke about Joe Biden’s age, saying that he doesn’t need to ask what’s in the constitution because “he was in the room when it was made.” Zing!
Maher called out The Rock for saying he thinks he can unite the country, and pointed out that an apolitical celebrity is a much more popular figure than a politician with an expressed ideology that will inevitably turn a significant portion of the country against them. “A space alien attack couldn’t unite this country. The aliens would say take us to your leader, and 70% of Republicans would drive them to Mar-a-Lago.”
Watch the whole thing above.