Comedian Bill Maher had a warning for all those entering the Smith Center Saturday night: “It’s going to get worse.”
“Folks, get that stick right out of your ass,” he advised the sold-out audience at the start of his sole Colonials Weekend show. The political commentator famed for walking the line between sarcastic and sardonic spared few from his razor-sharp tongue.
From members of Congress “who just vote on bullshit that gets their dick hard” to average Americans he dubbed “ill-educated fuck-ups,” no subject or personality was off-limits during Maher’s 90-minute set.
“This primary season has shown the Republican party has no bottom,” Maher jabbed.
The host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” bashed Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as the candidate “for people who find [former Alaska Gov.] Sarah Palin too intellectual,” and said if Mitt Romney “was any slimier, you could kill him with a box of salt.”
Maher said, if a poll found Romney could garner more votes as a black woman, the former Massachusetts governor would change his name to Latisha. Acknowledging his liberal leanings, Maher still took digs at the Democrats, but saved his choicest jabs for the GOP.
“I hope I look like I’ve been bipartisan tonight,” Maher said.
Following through on his reputation as a sharp critic of religion, Maher also took swipes at the controversial decision to construct a mosque at Ground Zero.
“I don’t think a mosque should be built anywhere. Or a church, or a temple,” he said.
Leslie Jaffe, a mother at the event, said Maher was “a fiesta of ideas and thinking.”
“I think he is an outstanding choice for a liberal arts institution,” Jaffe said.
Earlier this week, four campus groups, led by the Young America’s Foundation, sent University President Steven Knapp a letter blasting GW for signing Maher on for Colonials Weekend.
The letter urged Knapp to apologize for hosting the controversial comedian, alleging that Maher’s off-color remarks on religion discredit the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus.
Some members of the audience left the Smith Center before Maher finished his set, but it is unclear if they were protesting the show.
Dean of Students Peter Konwerski, who had not personally seen the YAF letter, said the University was not concerned about bringing Maher to campus, but could “appreciate the question from some of the student groups.”
“We know that many comedians address issues during their performances which may be deemed ‘edgy’ or controversial to some, particularly around a broad range of social or political subjects,” Konwerski said. “But we have a mature audience and, as a University, we are open to the free exchange of ideas and lively debate.”