“Many of the viewpoints Maher ridicules seem outrageous only because mainstream society is not yet accustomed to hearing them and having to ponder their validity. In this regard and many others, Maher’s material is reactionary in the dictionary sense of the word: opposing political or social liberalization or reform, or at least dramatically signaling his annoyance with the idea that there might be another way to live and think beyond whatever he’s comfortable with.
“That’s unfortunate, considering that a big part of his routine is based on self-identifying as a liberal. It’s as if he just wants things to go back to the way they were in the ’90s, when he could plausibly sit on the left-hand side of the set on his old ABC talk show Politically Incorrect. The Overton window shifted while he was ensconced at Real Time on HBO, and he’s mad that he can’t move it back.” — from Matt Zoller Seitz’s 7.12 Vulture piece, “Bill Maher Is Stand-up Comedy’s Past — Hannah Gadsby Represents Its Future.”