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Bill Maher’s Stand-Up Show Is Like Watching His HBO Show Live—And That’s A Good Thing

Bill Maher is in Las Vegas so frequently that he’s practically a resident. It’s boon times for the comedian, who mines the foibles of politicians in particular and calls out the senselessness of humans in general. This week of the Trump presidency was an especially fertile time for Maher to unleash his outrage and incredulousness—the Russian connection has surpassed Watergate proportions, and it seems the news coming out of the White House, delivered through hapless mouthpiece Sean Spicer, gets ever more bizarre by the day. We are living in a hyperspeed of news-cycle unreality, so absurd if not for what is at stake, chiefly, the state of the planet. No wonder Maher wishes things would slow down just a bit.

“It’s the first time in my life I’m using marijuana for a legitimate medical reason,” he said at his May 20 stand-up show at The Mirage. And justifiably so. The man in charge of the free world is a temperamental toddler but with less impulse control. “I wouldn’t even even trust him with a ZIP code, much less the nuclear codes.”

For fans of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, the comedian’s stand-up is a chance to see him in a more casual setting—no suit and tie here, just black jeans and a Hawaiian shirt. But the Maher tropes, delivered weekly in “New Rules,” are there. In addition to Trump (who takes up a good chunk of his 90-minute show), kale-eating, Prius-driving liberals get their fair share. Maher’s talking points are incisive, if at times devolving into pettiness (his incessant calling of Ivanka as Trump’s daughter-wife, for example). But he is unrelenting in his screed that these are not normal times and this is not a normal president sitting in the White House.

Thank [fill in the blank here, for certainly it’s not God] for Bill Maher, who shocks us out of our CNN Breaking News!–numbness enough to pay attention.