October 30, 2004

Bill Maher and his audience, an unhealthy relationship.

I don't go out of my way to watch Bill Maher's HBO show anymore, though I do occasionally watch part of it until I get sick of him or some awful celebrity, and I didn't check in on last night's show. But Jeff Jarvis watched the show so we don't have to. He has this:
Maher says some of the stuff in the bin Laden tape "I swear to God could have come out of the Democratic National Committee or a Kerry speech." Maher starts to read; Gen Wes Clark interrupts -- sensibly -- and doesn't want to seem by silence to be agreeing with that. Maher reads some of bin Laden's statements and the audience -- amazingly -- applauds! Maher: "Sometimes you can agree with an evil person. I mean, Hitler was a vegetarian." What the F has become of us? A studio audience is applauding a mass murderer?

Those studio audiences can ruin comedy shows worse than a bad canned laugh track. But Maher is responsible for his audience's idiocy. By pandering to one side, telling too many jokes that only work if your main political idea is that you hate Bush, you've stocked that audience with people who are ruining what chance at humor and decent political commentary you might have had.

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