Bill Maher sat down with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s Late Show for an intense, profanity-laced and awkward discussion about ISIS, religion, the road to the White House and Donald Trump. The first part of the chat dealt with the eradication of ISIS, with both Maher and Colbert – who seems to support “scratching that itch” through bombing them – holding different ideas on how to deal with the problem. “This is the most bloodthirsty conversation I’ve ever had with anyone in my life,” Colbert noted.
“There wouldn’t be an ISIS if we hadn’t gone into Iraq in the first place. That’s really important to know,” Maher said. “After 9/11, if we had just gotten bin Laden and reinforced the cockpit doors of airplanes, we would probably be better off. But we had to go start this mess, and now the dinosaurs are outside of the theme park. You can’t wipe people out, off the map; that’s not gonna happen. What you need to do is wipe out the idea.”
Maher – someone so atheist, he made a movie about it – and Colbert, a practicing Catholic, then launched into the topic of religion, a heated debate about disbelief, Bronze Age “fairy tales” and humility that only cooled down after Maher complimented Pope Francis.
Maher also applauded the increasingly long road to the presidency, because if there were a shortened election season, he reasoned, Trump would already be president. “If we had a two-month election cycle, they would have elected Trump already,” Maher said. “For the first couple of months, people were enamored with him, but now, they’ve seen his shtick. He’s got two things, ‘Me build wall. Me great.’ And now it’s wearing off.”
When the discussion warmed up again, Maher mistakenly called Colbert “Steve,” leading to even more awkwardness between the politically minded hosts.