Bill Maher throws 9/11 hecklers out of his audience


I don’t normally watch “Real Time with Bill Maher” if for no other reason than I watch about 23 other political shows a week and he’s hard to fit into my jam-packed schedule. But I know the guy is good, if a little feisty. I just didn’t realize how feisty. Some 9/11 activists got into Maher’s audience while smuggling in signs under their shirts. During filming for the live show, one of them started screaming something about 9/11 being a conspiracy, and interrupted the panelists. Maher told the guy to shut up, but he did it a few more times until Maher finally asked, “Don’t we have any f****** security here?” The guy was taken away – but not before Maher, clearly pretty angry at this point – ran into the audience and helped take the guy out.

Bill Maher can add “security guard” to his job description alongside comedian and political commentator. Maher on Friday night helped security remove a rowdy protester from the studio during his weekly HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” and it was all captured on live television. Maher was talking science during one of his weekly panel discussions when a protester in his audience stood up, held up a smuggled-in sign reading “9/11 is a cover up fraud” and shouted comments to the same effect.

The host tried to shout down the audience member, who only became more agitated. “Do we have some (expletive) security in this building,” Maher yelled, “or do I have to come down there and kick his (expletive)?” When security reached the man’s aisle and the man resisted leaving, Maher ran into the seats and helped them push him out the door, shouting “Out! Out! Out!” Several other protesters, sprinkled throughout the audience, then stood up and shouted. “This isn’t the Iowa Caucus, OK, we’re not here to debate,” Maher shouted with most of his audience cheering him on. “This is the problem with live television.”

After the instigators were ejected, Maher told his panelists — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson — that they often linger outside his studio to share 9/11 conspiracy theories with him and try to get into the show. “It’s the only time I defend Bush,” he said.

[From the Associated Press]

My favorite quote from the night? Maher telling the conspiracy guys to be quiet, noting, “You’re in the audience. Audience comes from the Latin, ‘to listen.'” That really is the issue with live television – you just can’t control for all the variables. Sure you can work to make sure the lights don’t fail and the guests have enough water – but you never know when a total crazy will rip off all his clothes and make a beeline for the stage. One day… here’s hoping.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.