Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home [2003]

Genre: Comedy
Common sense and comedy make excellent bedfellows in Victory Begins at Home, comedian Bill Maher's scathing one-hour show taped on Broadway and first broadcast on HBO in July 2003. "Comedian" seems hardly adequate in defining Maher, who functions as political analyst, voice of conscience, court jester, social critic, and tireless advocate of decency, honesty, and, yes, even patriotism (unless you're a staunch conservative, in which case Maher's an insufferable moron, but that's your problem, not his). Indeed, Victory will ultimately serve as a time-capsule summary of political, personal, and religious absurdity in the age of George W. Bush, Middle East turmoil, and rampant terrorism, and after honing his edge on TV's late, great Politically Incorrect, who better than Maher to comment on the madness? Take this, for example: "The true axis of evil in America is the genius of our marketing combined with the stupidity of our people." Which is to say, Maher's a fearless equal-opportunity offender, and nobody gets off the hook easily. Whether he's excoriating the hypocrisy of politicians and priests, illegal vs. prescription drugs, our "feminized" society, or the good reason you should never buy diamonds, Maher's is a voice of angry, caring reason, and we're better off with him (and his profanely provocative freedom of speech) than without him. --Jeff Shannon

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