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Bill Maher: I’m Retiring from Stand-Up Comedy

'Club Random' host offers one possible reason he might break pledge

Bill Maher started telling jokes in the 1980s, and he never stopped.

The 68-year-old created the perfect venue for his satirical barbs with “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher” and, later, HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” His “Club Random” podcast offered a logical extension for his wit.

He never stopped touring through it all.

Now, Maher says his days as a stand-up comic are coming to an end. Maher shared the news with “Club Random” guest Jerry Seinfeld.

The two old chums talked comedy, culture and Seinfeld’s new film, “Unfrosted.” It’s a comic look at the creation of the Pop Tart, with plenty of creative license in play.

Unfrosted | Official Trailer | Netflix

Maher broke the news to Seinfeld early in the conversation.

“After this year, I’m gonna stop doing [stand-up comedy],” Maher said to a stunned Seinfeld.

“I don’t wanna make it like a big announcement or anything,” Maher continued. “I’m doing a special at the end of the year. It’ll be my 13th for HBO, and that’s a lot.

“I put a lot of time and effort into it because as you know, stand-up is like playing the cello, You can’t just walk up there, you have to stay in practice, and I do and I’ve always loved [stand-up] and I’m always working on it,” he said. “But I have a show.”

“I don’t know how you kept it up during the show, or frankly why,” Seinfeld said of his friend’s “Real Time” gig.

“Because they fed each other, first of all. It was so great. And also because I love it … the show is great, but there’s constrictions there,” he said.

Jerry Seinfeld | Club Random with Bill Maher

“But if I don’t have to practice the cello eight hours a day, I might wanna do some of these live,” Maher said, referring to podcast episodes. Maher has embraced podcasting in the last year-plus, interviewing some of his artistic heroes like John Fogerty and John Cleese.

“It’s not crazy…I think perhaps for you, whatever feels right for you feels right,” Seinfeld said, comforting his friend.


Maher offered a caveat to the news, suggesting the loss of stand-up comedy in his life might be a mistake.

“After 40 years that’s why I don’t want to ‘make an announcement. This is my final…’ I might change my mind. It might be like cutting off a limb, and I have to go back to it,” Maher said.


  1. Maybe you’ll fell more comfortable with the comedic stylings of the more Ethnonationalist crowd like Steve Bannon or Alex Jones, who entertains his audiences by denying that actual children were murdered by a lunatic teen in New Town.

    1. It’s wild and what’s really crazy is, as over the top as it is all presented, a lot of it is built around true stories. I usually find myself Googling through any biopic or period piece based on true events, and that was no different here.

      It was pretty good.

  2. Hey, Bill, my wife and I saw your standup in San Jose. We always look forward to your show and opinions. If I have any complaint, I think you’re indulging in too much Biden bashing. As you’ve said repeated, and I do think Biden has been one of the greatest presidents, his age to me at 85, represents wisdom gained. You’ve said as much in you HBO shows. You’ve also said, and I agree, we absolutely can’t allow Trump to win another term, so go light on the Biden bashing. Your standup was brilliant, well delivered , you’re my favorite comedian these days. And yes, there were moments when I felt a little uncomfortable but isn’t that the job of the court jester — to not BS or jest but strip away at the stuff we all know and try to sweep under the rug. Some we can do something about and other issues are just reminders of the reality of life we all have to contend with. I love kids and had five that if at the time I felt I really had a choice taking everything into consideration, I probably would have preferred to not have. But heck that kind of reality is in our faces everyday with all kinds of shit. We learn how to make things work and lo and behold can even come to a point when we can see our see kids as a blessing not only because they add a dimension of meaning to life that we would have never had without them. I don’t know about you but from my point the greatest tragedy we all have to face sometimes more than others is findingtrhe meaning in life. My feeling is that whatever works and is not overtly harming anyone or anything I can tolerate and accept. So at 68, you probably don’t need the money, if you want to quit standup permanently or even for awhile, go for it but know that I deeply appreciate you.

    1. Name a single issue affecting Americans that wasn’t better under Trump.
      Biden is a barely sentient joke, whose day to day dictates are handled by a bunch of leftists that hate US citizens.

    2. I agree. Call the Left out all you like, the criticism is how you sharpen the tool, but it’s crossing into “Why am I voting for this guy again?” territory. I’m not in love with the Biden Admin and their border policies are beyond comprehension, but Trump back in office is a non turning back situation. I also don’t appreciate Bill’s endless and blind support of the Israeli government, namely Benjamin Netanyahu, who he endlessly humanizes while dehumanizing Muslims non-stop. So much that Ben Affleck had to call him out and has never returned (and probably hasn’t been asked back) to the show.

  3. His “comedy” is for a limited audience – limited MENTAL capacity! Never thought he was funny nor humorous – mostly just a slimy jerk! The first time I ever saw him was in the movie House 2! He played a slimy jerk – he was so natural – almost as if he wasn’t even acting!

    He’s recently had some “negative” criticism of the left – probably in an attempt to gain more “moderates” since he can’t exactly be as bat crap crazy as most of his followers.

    Can’t say that I’ll miss his comedy – never saw it!

    1. What an uninformed, baseless comment. You weigh in on a brilliant performer with millions of admirers, on someone’s stand up comedy craft that you’ve never seen and are unfamiliar with, except in someone else’s movie doing scripted lines. Why waste people’s time with your meaningless words?

      1. The first guy got it right. Maher has been the king of clapter for decades now. His career is 3 parts blowing smoke up liberal skirts and 1 part talented friends (Hollywood’s version of white privilege). He’s Jon Stewart, prince of clapter, West Coast.

      2. Exactly how is one’s opinion baseless?

        This is why your team sucks.

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