Skip to main content

Bill Maher Doubles Down, Saying Outrage Over Stan Lee Comment Proves His Point

Last week “comedian” and political “intellectual” Bill Maher attracted the ire of the public over his comments concerning the death of Stan Lee. He used this moment, of all moments, to criticize comic book culture, saying, “I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”

Recommended Videos

He then went on Larry King’s show for an interview where he not only “clarified” his point but doubled down to somehow make it seem like everyone “misunderstood” him.

“Talk about making my point for me,” Maher said concerning the backlash. “Yeah, I don’t know very much about Stan Lee, and it certainly wasn’t a swipe at Stan Lee … I am agnostic on Stan Lee. I don’t read comic books. I didn’t even read them when I was a child. What I was saying is: A culture that thinks that comic books and comic book movies are profound meditations on the human condition is a dumb f—ing culture. And for people to, like, get mad at that just proves my point.”

Ahh Bill Maher, always patronizing.

As a site that has never shied away from being critical of the negatives of comic book culture, there’s plenty for us to criticize, but Maher’s comments aren’t based on toxic issues. He just wants to talk about his idea that nothing of value can come from comics. The assertion that “adults decided they didn’t have to give up kid stuff” and “pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature” is just a purely elitist comment that completely dismisses the great works of sophisticated literature that comics have produced.

It is, quite simply, an ignorant and uneducated comment from someone who wants to pretend to be more of an adult than everyone else, while producing some of the most childish opinions in punditry.

You don’t like comics? You think comics are dumb? Fine, you can rag on them, but to take the death of Stan Lee—the son of Romanian-born Jewish immigrants who was outspoken about racism and bigotry, helped create some of the most diverse characters in comics, and wasn’t afraid to keep Peter Parker a working-class hero—and somehow turn his death into an opportunity to say that comic books are responsible for Donald Trump? No, you have only proved the point that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

But should we expect anything different from the man who calls Ann Coulter one of his “good friends”?

Plus, if you have never read comics, how the hell do you know anything about them enough to say they aren’t “profound meditations on the human condition”? Only someone really determined to be an “intellectual” with a capital I would be unaware of how many comics are exactly that and how the medium has grown and expanded, especially with so many different imprints, to tell some great stories about what makes us human.

Bill Maher continues to prove that he’s just ignorant when things don’t fit into his Rational White Man point of view, which is why he manages to find ways to give platforms to terrible people, promote the idea that “identity politics” resulted in Trump’s election, and pretend that he reads enough literature to say that comic books, in their decades-long history, don’t have anything to offer.

He also completely misses the point that using the death of a beloved American literary figure as a springboard for his thoughts was what made people angry.

But I will say, I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that allows every uninformed white guy the ability to feel attacked for being a turd.

(via, image: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]


Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: