Bill Maher Cuts Hollywood’s Nepo Babies Down To Size, Praises Meritocracy On ‘Real Time’

Never Give A Sucker An Even Break was a 1941 movie from W.C. Fields. But it could have been the theme to Bill Maher’s Real Time on Friday night.

From Donald Trump’s latest foibles, through TikTok’s right to exist in the US, to the growing lost generation of young men, Maher and his guests tried to make sense of a world that seems to be flailing in its battle to find solutions.

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Ultimately, Maher turned his guns on nepo babies, the children of the famous who feel they’ve hit a triple when they’re born on third base.

Maher’s New Rules editorial focused on the long string of Hollywood stars that got a leg up thanks to their connections, starting with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. “It doesn’t make them bad people or untalented,” Maher said. “But let’s also admit they weren’t the only ones who could have done it.”

He added, “So enjoy the good life, nepos. Just don’t say you didn’t have a big advantage.” As Maher pointed out, “This is show business. Getting your foot in the door is 80% of it!”

As proof of that theory, Maher pointed out how acting works. “Yes, there are difficult roles,” he allowed. But since children, Vin Diesel, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Segal and yes, even Bill Maher can do it, it’s not nuclear physics.

Maher pointed out that sports is one of the last bastions of meritocracy, since show business, politics, and modeling are rife with nepotism.

“In sports, there are no nepo babies,” Maher said. “Leyla Ali didn’t knock out 21 opponents by smacking them with her birth certificate.”

While Maher admits he doesn’t trust hardly anyone – including those on dating apps who are putting a fist to their chin — he does trust that the 450 players in the NBA are the absolute best anywhere in the world.

The concept of merit is under attack everywhere but in sports, Maher concluded. “It’s a bad issue for Democrats – if they’re on an airplane, they want a cockpit that looks like America. But they also want someone who knows how to fly the plane.”

The panel discussion portion of the show featured podcaster and author Scott Galloway, and The Atlantic staff writer and author of Give People Money, Annie Lowrey.

Their wide ranging discussion covered TikTok (it should absolutely be banned, said Galloway), climate change and population control (“We don’t need fewer people,” said Lowrey, but rather, should make better use of existing resources) and Social Security’s potential to survive (raise the FICA cap, both panelists said).

Earlier, author and humorist David Sedaris talked about his job at a state psychiatric hospital when he was 14-years-old.

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