Bill Maher is on the forefront of the new wave of comedians who have begun to influence and shape political debate through their comedy. He is best known not just for being funny, but for advocating truth over sensitivity and taking on the political establishment. Maher first came to national attention as the host of the hit ABC-TV program Politically Incorrect
, where he offered a combustible mixture of irreverence and acerbic humor that helped him to garner a loyal following, as well as a reputation for being a controversial bad boy.
Bill Maher's popular new HBO television show, Real Time, has put Maher more front and center than ever before. Particularly one regular segment on the show, entitled "New Rules," has been a hit with his ever-growing legion of fans. It is the part of the show during which Maher takes serious aim, bringing all of his intelligence, incisiveness, wit, and his signature exasperation to bear on topics ranging from cell phones ("I don't need my cell phone to take pictures or access the Internet. I just need it to make a phone call. From everywhere! Not just the places it likes!") to fast food ("No McDonald's in hospitals. I'm not kidding!) to the conservative agenda ("Stop claiming it's an agenda. It's not an agenda. It's a random collection of laws that your corporate donors paid you to pass.")
His new book, the first since his bestselling When You Ride Alone You Ride with bin Laden, brings these brilliantly conceived riffs and rants to the written page. Appropriately titled New Rules, the book will collect some of the best of the rules derived from previously written material and will also contain substantial new material, including some longer form "editorials"--of course with a twist and bite that only Bill Maher can deliver.
Rule Breaker: An Amazon.com Interview with Bill Maher
In New Rules: Polite Musings of a Timid Observer, Bill Maher skewers celebrity, pop culture, and politics in his classic acerbic style. With a new season of Real Time with Bill Maher and an upcoming HBO Special (his sixth), Bill Maher: I'm Swiss, on deck, Maher also found the time to host Amazon.com's 10th Anniversary Concert at Seattle's Benaroya Hall. Amazon.com caught up with Maher upon his return to Los Angeles to talk about the book, the comic's night-table reading habits, the Internet, and what's wrong with the media.
Read our Amazon.com interview with Bill Maher
More from Bill Maher
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From Publishers Weekly
Though it's often true that the audio adaptation of a humorous work is better than the print edition, particularly when read by the comedian who authored it, one gets the sense that this production isn't all that it could have been. Maher's delivery is well-timed, but the audio, with its lack of music or embellishment, has a bare-bones feel. Nevertheless, the sound quality is good, and those who appreciate Maher's wry sense of humor and, in particular, who are familiar with his HBO series, Real Time with Bill Maher
, should enjoy this collection of witticisms. Maher has established some new rules for our "self-obsessed, success-by-any-means, get-mine culture," and he tackles everything from food ("Cornbread isn't bread. It's cake") to the environment ("The big oil companies must stop running ads telling us how much they're doing for the environment. We get it. You rape the Earth, but you cuddle afterward"). While the alphabetical list format doesn't make for the most flowing listening experience, Maher's expert delivery ensures that each joke is as funny as when he originally presented it on Real Time
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