Table of Contents
blue rider press
Published by the Penguin Group
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Copyright © 2011 by Bill Maher
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. Published simultaneously in Canada
Pages 351–54 constitute an extension of this copyright page.
ISBN : 978-1-101-55215-5
Some portions of this material have appeared in slightly different form on HBO’s
Los Angeles Times
, and on
and The Huffington Post.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Before we get to the fun stuff, I want to acknowledge and thank the people who make a project like this possible, fun, and painless.
David Rosenthal, the publisher of this tome. In 1993, I was on television for ten seconds when I asked this editor at Random House if that was credential enough to get my novel published. He saw a real book there, and I maintain to this day that
is a real book. I will forever be his fan for being my fan, and it’s a pleasure to repay his faith all these years later with this cash cow.
Everyone at Penguin Books who has the savvy in actually assembling a book and marketing it, and, you know, grammar and stuff.
writers who wrote so many of the jokes in this book: Chris Kelly, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Matt Gunn, Adam Felber, and Danny Vermont. To do a once-a-week weekly wrap-up show like
right, I need to come in to the office every day—though I wouldn’t strictly need to have a writers’ meeting every day. But why would I ever miss the most reliably fun and enlightening part of my day?
My invaluable team of producers, Sheila Griffiths, Scott Carter, and Dean Johnsen. Not only do they make the trains run on time, but they are such decent human beings it provides the essential counterbalance to the snarky host.
My script coordinator and keeper of records and dead bodies, Joaquin Torres, for the vital job of helping me to pull together, order, and edit the material for this book, all while somehow reading my handwriting. And sometimes my mind.
coproducer Matt Wood, for his outstanding work accessing, assembling, and sometimes creating the images for this book. My old job.
My longtime manager, Marc Gurvitz, and agent, Steve Lafferty, who had to do almost no work to sell this no-brainer of a cake project, but who have . . . oh, all right, at other times proven themselves useful.
My publicists, CeCe Yorke and Sarah Fuller, and everyone else at True Public Relations who does such a great job covering up all my scandals so as not to overshadow when I have something to sell.
From the executive suites of HBO, Nancy Geller—my Saint Peter, the rock upon which I built my church all those years ago (you know, metaphorically speaking)—and Richard Plepler and Mike Lombardo, who provide the real estate, and the nurturing of it, without which
would just be a YouTube clip of a podcast of a tweet.
The fans! Duh . . . the people for whom I have such a special love because in a country that’s gone as batshit crazy as this one, it is some comfort to know there are people who think in a similar fashion. By the way, anyone who comes up to me and says, “I watch you every night,” you’re not a real fan, because
I’m not on every night!
And last but not least, Billy Martin is the
head writer and the man who thought up the New Rules concept, and try as I might, I can’t seem to cut him out of these books. Just as well, since he’s the one who gits ’er done, with his usual creativity and ruthless efficiency.
People who read a book’s foreword are anal. Especially this book’s foreword. It’s a joke book. What am I supposed to say? “Enjoy”? “Don’t spill your Mr Pibb”? “Careful not to get a paper cut”? If you need a pep talk or some insight from me before diving in, maybe you’re not ready for word books. Maybe you should stick to the kind of books that have pictures you can color.
Okay, I’m sorry. It’s more than just a joke book, and I’m glad you took a moment to check in with me before proceeding. What you’re holding is a collection of hundreds of my favorite New Rules and essays, some performed on the show and many others never before seen on TV—not because they suck, but for a variety of reasons, like: (a) it’s a particularly filthy, dirty, potty-mouthed rule about fetish porn or edible panties or rhinoceros scrotums, and that week there was someone on our panel who would be appalled by it, like a congressman from a conservative district, or a clergyman. Or, you know, a woman.
Or (b) it might have been a terrific New Rule, but that week we had other good ones on the same subject. Although we have our share of viewers who are news junkies, I treat the show that we do live on Friday night as a catch-up show for those who might not have had the time during the week to see the news, because they work hard, have hobbies, or forgot to use birth control a couple of times in the ’90s. So I try to cover as many of the important subjects as possible, either in the monologue, with the guests, or in the New Rules, and so it’s survival of the fittest by topic.
Or (c) sometimes I read my writers’ New Rules submissions completely baked and just picked the wrong ones.
As for the essays—or what we call our “editorial”—which are the much longer final New Rules that conclude the show: I can’t lie, there are no new ones here; they were all done on the air. But, I must immodestly say, I think a lot of them bear repeating. They take three minutes to read on air, but I spend six or eight hours over the course of the week writing and editing them to get a show-ender that, I hope, both makes a unique point and does so in a funny way. It’s the part of the show I’m most proud of and that I don’t think you can see anywhere else on television. So please don’t read this part of the book on the toilet or you’ll break my heart.