Jan. 20th, 1956
New York City, New York, USA
Bill Maher's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Bill Maher was born in New York City and grew up in River Vale, NJ. His Irish Catholic father, William, was a radio announcer and news editor. His Jewish mother, Julie, was a nurse. Maher was raised in the Catholic faith. While attending Cornell University, he decided to try stand-up comedy. His first stand-up routine was in a Chinese restaurant on Route 17 in Paramus, NJ. He soon landed a regular gig at Catch a Rising Star in New York City. After a few years, he became a regular host at the club and was spotted by a scout for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962). Maher made numerous appearances on the show, and Carson had been a hero of his since childhood, but he always felt constrained by the rules of network television. During this time, he appeared in films and made guest appearances on numerous sitcoms.
In 1993, Maher was offered his own talk show by Comedy Central. Maher developed the show as a roundtable discussion on current events. Politically Incorrect (1994) premiered to critical acclaim and attracted major celebrities as well as politicians and pundits. In 1997, the show moved to ABC where it aired to continued success. On September 17, 2001, Maher made controversial comments regarding the terrorists who orchestrated the September 11 attack on the US. Sponsors pulled their ads and affiliates refused to air the show. ABC canceled the show in 2002, citing "low ratings". Maher had been nominated for 11 Emmys for his work on the show. In 2003, he was able to continue his television work with a similar program on HBO titled Real Time with Bill Maher (2003). He remains single and lives in Los Angeles.
- 22 June 2002 - Received the Los Angeles Press Club's highest honor, the President's Award, for "championing free speech." The award was given six days after the final episode of _"Politically Incorrect" (1994)_ (qv), Bill's social-satire show from which he was dismissed for politically incorrect statements about the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
- Received a great deal of bad press for his comments after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center when he criticized the United States government. Subsequently, advertisers such as Sears and Federal Express pulled their ads and some television stations stop showing his program _"Politically Incorrect" (1994)_ (qv). This eventually led to ABC canceling the show the following year. Commentators such as 'Rush Limbaugh' (qv), 'Arianna Huffington' (qv), and 'David Horowitz (II)' (qv) defended his right to free speech and said that his program should not be canceled.
- He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Cornell University in 1978
- Very good friends with 'Ann Coulter' (qv), 'Arianna Huffington' (qv) and 'Christopher Reid (I)' (qv)
- Bill played Bob on an episode of _"Roseanne" (1988)_ (qv). Ten years prior to the start of that show, he played a character named Bob in the movie _D.C. Cab (1983)_ (qv) when he was an up-and-coming comedian.
- Graduated from Pascack Hills High School (New Jersey)
- Supported 'Ralph Nader (I)' (qv) during the 2000 presidential election.
- Was a major supporter of Democratic presidential candidate 'John Kerry (III)' (qv) during the 2004 presidential election. Though he traditionally supports Democrats, in 2000 he threw his support behind Green Party candidate 'Ralph Nader (I)' (qv).