Bill Maher is once again going after fans of the late Stan Lee, at least when it comes to their insistence that comic books “are literature.” Two months after he drew fanboy fury following Lee’s November death, Maher revisited the subject for the episode-closing New Rules segment during tonight’s Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO.
“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.”
Maher kicked off the segment by continuing his crusade against comic book readers, saying “I’m not glad Stan Lee is dead,” he said tonight, addressing the nation’s fanboys. “I’m sad you’re alive.” Maher first questioned comic fans shortly after Lee’s passing in a November blog post.
Maher, after taking a shot at comics-loving director Kevin Smith’s adolescent attire, responded specifically to the open letter directed his way last November from Lee’s Pow Entertainment.
Quoting the letter – “We are grateful that we can say you have a right to your opinion that comics are childish and unsophisticated. Many said the same about Dickens, Steinbeck, Melville and even Shakespeare” – Maher then really unleashed. “No,” he said, “they didn’t! Nobody ever said ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘King Lear’ were unsophisticated, and if you ever read a book without pictures you’d know that!”
Maher continued on, responding to comic readers who say the books taught them about “social justice and racial tolerance.” Maher said:
“Ok, but now you have pubic hair. Read James Baldwin. Read Toni Morrison. Read Michael Eric Dyson.” Quoting the Bible’s “put away childish things…” proverb, the Real Time host added to it: “…like comic bed sheets.”