Bill Maher ridicules Trump to kick off 500th episode of Real Time

Bill Maher (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace)
Bill Maher (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace) /

Real Time with Bill Maher celebrated its 500th episode by mocking President Donald Trump over Iran and his 2020 campaign rally.

Bill Maher now has 500 episodes of Real Time under his belt. Since 2003, the show has been skewering every major political and social story that made headlines. It feels as if after 17 seasons of Real TIme, the show was made for the Trump era. So to mark the milestone, Maher used his 500th monologue to go after President Trump once again.

The rest of late night caught up to Bill Maher during the 2016 election and in the time since Trump took office. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert topped the ratings on the strength of the host’s political commentary while other shows like Late Night with Seth Meyers have found success by dedicating countless segments to the White House.

But Real Time with Bill Maher has been doing all of this for over a decade now. Maher will be the first one to remind viewers that he was ahead of his time and things are finally catching up to where he has been. Maher’s opinion of President Trump may not differ from that of Colbert or Meyers, but he packages it like nobody else in late night or television in general.

It was fitting that Maher spent monologue number 500 on ripping President Trump for last week. The comedian didn’t want any sentimental moment or look back at 500 shows. Instead he did what he’s always done: tackle the week’s news head on and deliver a hilarious and biting monologue:

Maher points out that even in threatening war with Iran, Trump has to turn it into a spectacle inspired by reality television. Also in typical Trump fashion, his attempt at a menacing tweet (if such a thing exists) featured the fumbled expression “cocked and loaded.” Maher had a lot of fun with that and encouraged his fans to get in on the joke, too.

From there, Maher covered Trump’s 2020 election rally that was held in Orlando. The event was a popular one with late night hosts all week, most notably Stephen Colbert who pointed out that the crowds weren’t as advertised. Maher takes a different approach by making fun of Trump’s supporters who react to the same lines from 2016 as if they are new developments.

Maher’s joke about Hope Hicks didn’t exactly land with the studio audience. But it was still a great representation of Real Time after 500 episodes. The show is recorded live and sometimes even Bill Maher’s jokes misfire. That is a rare occasion and something that Maher always recovers from, evident by the response to his follow-up punchline.

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Real Time with Bill Maher deserves to be celebrated for 500 episodes. It is an impressive accomplishment for what the show is and a large part of that is Bill Maher’s fearless approach to hosting. As we get closer and closer to the 2020 election, Maher’s voice will only become more important. Congratulations, Bill and don’t stop now!