This October, comic Bill Maher celebrates 15 years of his hit HBO show, Real Time With Bill Maher. He also happens to be performing at the Mirage as part of his periodic Aces of Comedy residency. But don’t expect any repeat jokes in Maher’s stand-up. “I’d never do that to an audience,” Maher says during a phone interview with the Weekly. “I wouldn’t go back on road unless I have something new to say.” During these unusual political times, that’s not difficult.
What can viewers expect from your live show? To laugh their asses off. I don’t fool around up there. I go right for the jugular.
How is performing in Las Vegas different from being on TV? The show is a hybrid of laughing and seriousness. In stand-up, people should be laughing all the time; there’s nothing else going on. Now, some people have jokes that are just silly, and some people have jokes that have a lot of meaning in them. That’s what I’m trying to do: always be making a point.
How do you make jokes when the news already seems so ridiculous? People often say the jokes write themselves. Nothing ever writes itself, or else we’d all be doing this. It’s always a challenge to come up with great stuff, no matter how ridiculous the reality appears. Does it sometimes get hard to parody a president who is involved in self-parody? A little bit. Sometimes I think he’s trolling me. I’ll make fun of what he did, and then he does it worse.
If you could get one completely honest answer from one person, what would you ask? I’d ask Donald Trump, “Where is your hair coming from?” I used to think he was combing it from the back. But then there was a photo of him on Air Force One with the wind blowing from behind [and there was no hair]. So where is it coming from? I want Mueller to look into this.
What always makes you laugh? Basic slapstick. If I’m not expecting it and somebody goes around the corner and gets whooped in the face.
Tell your favorite Vegas joke. I think it was Garry Shandling’s joke: “I don’t want to brag, but I came to Vegas in a $5,000 car, and I’m leaving Vegas in a $50,000 bus.”
BILL MAHER October 26-27, 10 p.m.. $60-$104. Mirage's Terry Fator Theatre, 702-792-7777.