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Bill Maher Defends Comedian ‘Tribe’ After Will Smith’s Oscar Slap: ‘The War on Jokes Must End’


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“Real Time” host Bill Maher closed his show Friday night by planting his flag in the “war on jokes.”

Maher revived his running gag “Explaining Jokes to Idiots” by offering a description of a joke “for people with altered humour”, examining Chris Rock’s stunt about Jada Pinkett Smith, which sparked the infamous Will Smith’s slap that got him banned from the Oscars for ten years.

“Now I know we’re all sick of talking about the slap, but I’m sorry, one last thing needs to be said. The comedians have been under attack for some time and I have to defend my tribe. This the war on the jokes must stop,” Maher told his audience, who responded with thunderous applause.

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The HBO star walked to a screen with a teacher’s wooden stick at the ready to explain Chris Rock’s joke in detail, providing definitions of terms like “mob work” to “some s– – are like other s—” joke.

“He said to Jada Smith, ‘Jada, I can’t wait for GI Jane 2,’ reminiscent of the late ’90s movie starring Jimmy Moore. That’s it. That’s the joke,” Maher said. “You remind me of another beautiful, fashionable movie star. It was no more a joke about alopecia than the one about chicken crossing the road is about bird flu.”

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock
(Getty)

Maher then spoke about the “insulting humor” and pointed to another Oscar joke that was made at the expense of actor JK Simmons’ appearance and how he “made a face a bit like a Jada would do more. late”.

“But that’s where it ended! That’s called being a good sport, especially when you’re a rich celebrity. Let regular people piss on you for a stinky minute,” scolded Maher Hollywood.

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After calling out Will Smith for initially laughing at Chris Rock’s joke, Maher lambasted the Oscar-winning actor for “conforming” to a different point of view and moving away from his true reaction, which he says , was a sign of “how cancel culture works”.

“I’ve seen the same syndrome happen in comedy clubs. Woke rowdies who literally have to wait for the laughter to die down before yelling, ‘That’s not funny!’ ‘” Maher shouted. “This war on jokes has to end. Will Smith didn’t get kicked out of the Oscars for playing Ike Turner against Chris, but Kevin Hart got kicked out of hosting for a joke.”

Bill Maher Defends Comedian ‘Tribe’ After Will Smith’s Oscar Slap: ‘The War on Jokes Must End’

Bill Maher, the host of “Real Time”. (HBO)
(HBO)

Maher blasted those who say ‘cancellation culture isn’t a real thing’, pointing to a long list of comedians like Gilbert Godfried, Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, Dave Chappelle and Roseanne Barr, all of whose careers have been impacted by offensive jokes.

“People who can’t stand a joke anymore aren’t Bible-belt old ladies anymore. They’re Gen Zers in elite colleges. Colleges, where comedy is going to die,” Maher said. “Before, kids used to go to college and lose their virginity. Now they lose their sense of humor.”

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He then quoted comedy legend George Carlin’s “180” giving up a “lucrative career” in nightclubs for college campuses, quoting Carlin, “I gotta go to colleges. I belong to people who are open and will let me be myself and experiment.”

“Oh, George. Good thing you died,” Maher told the late comedian. “Because today the seven words you can say on TV are, ‘Jada, I can’t wait to see GI Jane 2.'”

Bill Maher Defends Comedian ‘Tribe’ After Will Smith’s Oscar Slap: ‘The War on Jokes Must End’

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theater on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
((Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images))

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Maher continued, “For anyone who constantly asks for an apology for jokes, maybe it’s you who should apologize. For all the great jokes we’ve never heard, the brilliant thoughts that never been spoken. These are the invisible scars of cancel culture. Let’s have a moment of silence for this and a place in the In Memoriam package. For all the viable jokes that could have lived on as jokes but were dropped because a voice in someone’s head said, “Are you sure you want to risk saying that? This is self-censorship, the worst of all.”

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