Bill Maher starts petition to get Barack Obama on Real Time


Bill Maher has requested a visit from President Barack Obama to his HBO show Real Time as a gift for his upcoming 60th birthday.

At the end of his first episode back from break, Real Time host Bill Maher made a special request from his audience: to sign a petition requesting that Barack Obama appear on his HBO talk show before he leaves office on the occasion of the comedian’s milestone 60th birthday.

Noting that the president has “done virtually every other show in the known universe” other than “ultimate fighting and amateur porn” – including Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifiankis, Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Live with Kelly and Michael, various late-night talk shows and even an interview with green lipstick-wearing YouTube star GloZell Green – Maher, who turns 60 on Wednesday, demanded to know why Obama wouldn’t sit down and talk with him even though he regularly supports him on his show (which he demonstrated in a series of clips).

“Clearly this isn’t about the dignity of the Oval Office,” he said. “If you went any lower you’d be on Fox & Friends.”

“Sean Penn can get an interview with El Chapo, but I can’t get on the president who talked to the lady with the green lips?” he asked.

Maher, who donated a $1 million to a Super PAC supporting Obama’s re-election in 2012, pondered whether it was because of his pot smoking habit (even though Galifiankis openly smoked a joint on the Real Time set) or his status as one of the country’s most prominent atheists, which he pointed out is a growing demographic in the U.S.

“There could be no better audience for this president,” he promised. “Our viewers are informed, they’re engaged, and they’re smart enough to steal cable.”

He then described his relationship with his loyal fans as the relationship of his life and a true friendship, even though it sometimes involves booing, fighting, disagreements, and even throwing them out of his audience.

Maher closed by asking his over 4 million viewers to sign a petition at the White House’s We the People website, which they must respond to if it reaches 100,000 signatures. The petition reads:

"WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:Ask President Obama to Appear on HBO’s Real Time with Bill MaherHerewith, on the occasion of Bill Maher’s 60th birthday, we the people, especially viewers of Real Time with Bill Maher, respectfully request that President Obama appear on Real Time and thereby honor that particular audience (and their support for him), as he has so honored the viewers of so many other TV shows and media outlets; or if not, to please, respectfully, tell us why."

Watch the entire segment below:

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Real Time with Bill Maher airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on HBO. Next week’s guest will include Seth MacFarlane, Jon Meacham, Rep. Michael McCaul and Rep. Alan Grayson.