Bill Maher revisited the divisive comments he made following comic book legend Stan Lee’s death last November during Friday night’s Real Time. “To every person on social media who’s asked me since November, ‘Bill, what do you have to say about Stan Lee?’ And to every paparazzi outside a restaurant who’s still shouting at me, ‘Bill, what about the Stan Lee thing?’ Okay. Your day has come,” the HBO host told viewers.
“I posted a blog that in no way was an attack on Mr. Lee, but took the occasion of his death to express my dismay at people who think comic books are literature and superhero movies are great cinema and who, in general, are stuck in an everlasting childhood,” Maher said. “Bragging that you’re all about the Marvel Universe is like boasting that your mother still pins your mittens to your sleeves.”
Maher then told the audience he thought comic fans needed to “grow up,” explaining that was the intent behind his editorial.
“You can, if you want, like the exact same things you liked when you were ten but if you do, you need to grow up. That was the point of my blog. I’m not glad Stan Lee is dead, I’m sad you’re alive,” he teased.
Maher further explained that he didn’t realize so many “people were pissed” about his words until he saw 40,000 Twitter followers unfollowed him. “I say, ‘Good riddance, follow Yogi Bear,” he said in response to the mass exodus of followers.
He then took a dig at comic book writing, “Every superhero movie is the same thing — a person who doesn’t have powers, gets them, has to figure out how they work, and then has to find a glowy thing. Justice League, glowy thing. Iron Man, glowy thing. Spider-Man, glowy thing. Captain America, glowy thing. Glowy thing, glowy thing, glowy thing!”
Maher then referenced Pow! Entertainment’s open letter to him saying Maher has a right to his opinion about comic books being “unsophisticated” just as “many said the same about Dickens, Steinbeck, Melville and even Shakespeare.”
“No, they didn’t! No one ever said that. No one said King Lear or Moby-Dick was childish and sophisticated. If you ever read a book without pictures, you’d know that,” Maher replied.