Bill Maher thinks he's 'going to stop doing' standup after this year: 'It might be like cutting off a limb'

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Speaking with Jerry Seinfeld, Maher said his HBO special later this year will likely be his last.

Bill Maher will release a stand-up comedy special at the end of 2024, and that may be the end of it for him.

With Jerry Seinfeld as a guest on his Club Random podcast, Maher said this special will be the end of his stand-up comedy career. However, he has no plans to end his HBO show, Real Time With Bill Maher, or his podcast.

"That leads me to something I feel nervous about telling you... After this year, I'm going to stop doing [standup]," he told Seinfeld. "I could go back. I don't want to make a big announcement or something. I'm doing a special at the end of the year. It'll be my 13th for HBO. That's a lot."

Seinfeld sounded surprised to hear that Maher would stop standup after many decades of doing it, including over the last 30 years, when he's consistently had a show on TV.

<p>Club Random Podcast/YouTube</p> Bill Maher and Jerry Seinfeld

Club Random Podcast/YouTube

Bill Maher and Jerry Seinfeld

"First of all, I put a lot of time and effort into it because, as you know, standup is like playing the cello. You can't just walk up there. You have to stay in practice," Maher said. "And I do. I've always loved it. I'm always working on it. But I have a show." Maher has hosted Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO since 2003, and hosted a similar program, Politically Incorrect, for nine years before that. He also recently released a book, What This Comedian Said Will Shock You.

The mention of Real Time prompted Seinfeld to interject, "I don't know how you kept it up during the show, or frankly, why. "

Maher continued, "If I don't have to practice the cello eight hours a day, I might want to do some of these kinds of things [his podcast] live. That's kind of an interesting option that people do nowadays. It's kind of an event."

Still, despite telling Seinfeld he plans on being done, he admits that standup has been a significant part of his career and he might return to it. "After 40 years, that's why I don't want to make an announcement like, 'This is my final...,'" he said. "I might change my mind. It might be like cutting off a limb, and I have to go back to it."

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