Bill Maher's joke "too dark" for The View, met with awkward silence

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Bill Maher had an awkward moment during an appearance on The View on Tuesday. The Real Time host found that different studio audiences often have different comedic sensibilities.

Maher is currently out promoting his new book, What This Comedian Said Will Shock You. It contains Maher's views on a wide range of topics related to American culture, politics, and daily life.

Those topics certainly overlap with what's discussed on The View, so it made sense for Maher to stop by on Tuesday and appeal to a different audience. However, that seemed to backfire during one moment in which the controversial comedian had to clarify his remarks.

Maher and the View co-hosts discussed the term "woke" and whether it has been coopted by the right. Maher argued that both sides have changed.

"I mean, I think we agree about the danger of the super far right, and I can't say it enough, I think they're the bigger threat. But, don't tell me that the left hasn't changed. I mean, I'm old enough to remember when it was the conservatives who hated the Jews, OK?"

Maher's comments were met with silence among the View panel and its studio audience. The comedian picked up on the awkwardness in the room and remarked "That was a joke."

The crowd eased up slightly when co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin tried to save things by responding "too dark!" to Maher's comments. "Well, maybe it is, but it's true," Maher responded, suggesting that maybe it wasn't a joke after all.

It's never a good thing when a comedian has to tell the audience he's joking. Perhaps it was a case of the View audience being unfamiliar with Maher's willingness to push the envelope. The joke would have gone over much better in front of a Real Time audience.

These days, Maher loves any debate over "wokeness." He considers it among the biggest problems keeping liberals from overtaking conservatives at any level of politics. So it's no surprise that he pulled out an edgy joke to support his argument.

Whether or not it helped him win any new fans, be it for his show or book, remains to be seen. But as Maher said on The View, ""My bond with my audience is you're not going to like everything I say, but you know I'm saying what I really think is true."