Bill Maher delights in hosting Real Time guests who court controversy, but last week, he careened down a cliff of his own making by dropping the N-word. The HBO host subsequently apologized after his slur resulted in a deluge of criticism, but he lost an upcoming guest in the process. As if by magic, Maher’s Esquire profile has arrived to distract everyone and hopefully remind folks that Maher is usually only “insufferably smug,” not a guy who sometimes drops racial slurs in an effort to be edgy. Will it work?
Esquire profiles are known for their unorthodox approach and often don’t focus heavily on an entertainer’s trade. (For example, one piece featured a reporter, who had “never heard of” Gerard Butler, interviewing the actor at the height of his fame.) This Maher piece — he’s interviewed by Stephen Rodrick — dips toes into political matters but aims to present the hidden Maher, who is one funky guy. Witness the following paragraph (that follows details about Maher wearing a flowered shirt while riding on a golf cart with a 20-something lady friend), which contains all kinds of voodoo:
Besides politics and women, health is Maher’s other obsession. Our conversation migrated to seeds as he took me to his kitchen and showed me how he makes lunch. Meanwhile, Chico, his one-eyed dog, nipped at my shoes. (Chico is Maher in canine form, alternately charming and, as his owner warned, ready to bite.) Maher, who is impressively trim for his age, placed a series of containers on the counter. “There’s sesame seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, millet, barley, rye,” he said. “They’re very good for you.” He mashed the seeds with water in a machine that looked like a coffee grinder. After the mixture sits for a few hours, he adds black-cherry concentrate and — voilà! — there’s Bill Maher’s lunch.
Sounds … unappetizing? Yet that’s not his entire diet. Later in the day, Maher enjoys a seed-shake with a raw egg and a different type of syrup because a dude has to live a little. He also raves about “literally illegal” goat yogurt, but when Rodrick spies some potato chips in the pantry and asks about them, Maher sheepishly admits, “I do get the munchies. Pot just does that to you.”