Anthony Bourdain rips ‘smug’ Bill Maher, vows never to return to Real Time


Anthony Bourdain calls Real Time host Bill Maher “insufferably smug,” and blames “privileged” liberals for Trump’s election.

Anthony Bourdain and Bill Maher are both two guys who aren’t afraid to share their opinions, including on controversial topics such as politics. Given their brashness and liberal points of view, one might think they would get along swimmingly, but apparently that’s not the case, at least according to Bourdain. The celebrity chef made it clear that has “a low opinion” of Maher during a recent interview with Reason Magazine where he reflected on his appearance on Real Time several years ago.

When asked how he would describe the HBO host, Bourdain had this to say:

"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."

Bourdain appeared on the show back in August 2011 alongside Salon’s Joan Walsh, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Breitbart News chairman-turned-Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon. During the segment, the Parts Unknown host expressed support for sitting down and sharing a meal with people who he disagrees with politically like Ted Nugent, a sentiment he echoed in the Reason interview:

"I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good. Nothing nauseates me more than preaching to the converted. The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left—just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition—this does not win hearts and minds. It doesn’t change anyone’s opinions. It only solidifies them, and makes things worse for all of us. We should be breaking bread with each other, and finding common ground whenever possible. I fear that is not at all what we’ve done."

However, that seems to be a reversal of what he said in an interview with The Wrap ahead of the election where he expressed that he would “absolutely f–ing not” sit down for a private dinner with Donald Trump should he become president. He also recently said he has “utter and complete contempt” for restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone over his plans to open a sushi restaurant in Trump’s new hotel in Washington, D.C. during a conversation with Eater.

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But while he’s by no means a fan of the president-elect, Bourdain maintains that he does have empathy for those who “are afraid and feel that their government has failed them,” which has resulted in the “rise of authoritarianism” throughout the world in places like the Philippines, Russia and the UK.

“As unhappy and surprised as I am with the outcome [of the election], I’m empathetic to the forces that push people towards what I see as an ultimately self-destructive act. Berlusconi, Putin, Duterte, the world is filled with bad choices, made in pressured times,” he added.

Bourdain also provided opinions that he seems to share with Maher, including the overabundance of political correctness on college campuses, and the rush to demonize comedians over offensive jokes, resulting in the creation of hashtags and boycotts. This has been one of the comedian’s common critiques of his fellow liberals, along with the inability to properly condemn radical Islam.

Next: Bill Maher’s Trump-inspired We’re Still Here hats sold by HBO

Real Time with Bill Maher has been on hiatus since mid-November, but the show will return on Friday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. on HBO, the same day as Trump’s inauguration.