Bill Maher Takes Posthumous Pot-Shot at Bourdain

June 30, 2018

By Karen

For his liberal, albeit cynical, voice, I generally appreciate Bill Maher. But when it came to Anthony Bourdain, I’ve thought he behaved like a weasely little dick. It’s probably height envy.

The only time I ever saw Bourdain on Real Time with Bill Maher was August 5, 2011, when he joined in mid-debate the panel, which included Neil deGrasse Tyson and Steve Bannon. Tony came onstage carrying a paperback book that was probably Medium Raw, apparently thinking he was there to discuss it. But it was never mentioned.

This clip shows a just a slice of the welcome he got from Maher and their somewhat wary body language…

Here’s Tony’s contribution to the general discussion, when he could get a word in…

Now, fast-forward to last night. It marked exactly three weeks since Tony died by suicide. It was also the last live episode of Real Time before a month-long hiatus. Bill Maher offered a series of “future headlines” to tide viewers over until he returns on August 3.

Among them was this headline about Bourdain…

Here’s video of the whole series of headlines so you can judge for yourself how the audience reacted to Tony’s…

They seemed to me to laugh and applaud as had been the pattern, but then they caught themselves. Maher quickly recovered by launching right back into another dig at Sandra Huckabee Sanders and regained their full enthusiasm.

I’m still scratching my head trying to make any sense of the Bourdain joke. Pairing the destruction of Asia with Tony’s death seemed like a random dig to get in a gratuitous last word. It was a punch below the belt by Bill Maher, IMO.

PS: OMG, OMG, how did I miss the OBVIOUS??!! I just got the “joke.” Comet destroys ASIA!!

UPDATE LATER JUNE 30 : Bourdain had the last word. Lenora contributed this quote to the comments on this post from an interview Tony did on December 29, 2016…

Bisley: A few years back you were on Real Time with Bill Maher and part of the discussion was about people living inside their own bubbles. What do you think of Bill Maher?

Bourdain: Insufferably smug. Really the worst of the smug, self-congratulatory left. I have a low opinion of him. I did not have an enjoyable experience on his show. Not a show I plan to do again. He’s a classic example of the smirking, contemptuous, privileged guy who lives in a bubble. And he is in no way looking to reach outside, or even look outside, of that bubble, in an empathetic way.

That’s our Tony.

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