Milo Yiannopoulos, the British alt-right darling who has made a career of being a racist, sexist creep trying to pass as a provocateur, appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher on Friday night. It was a righteous booking: I don’t like Maher much (not funny; sexist; tedious), but I am down with his First Amendment absolutism. Unfortunately, Maher’s one-on-one interview that aired on HBO was so dreadfully soft and tentative that a viewer unfamiliar with Yiannopoulos’s views might have come away thinking, Well, he’s not such a bad guy. Maher is a terrible interviewer.
No, you have to go online to see the post-show Overtime With Bill Maher segment to hear Yiannopoulos air his repugnant views on trans people and his general disdain for a panel that included the much-missed Larry Wilmore, as well as retired Navy terrorism expert Malcolm Nance. After Yiannopoulos referred to Wilmore and Nance as “stupid,” Maher didn’t even react; he was just moving on to his next interview-question card. Wilmore, however, was having nothing of it. “Wait a minute,” he said. Addressing Yiannopoulos, he said calmly, “You can go f*** yourself.” He then quieted the cheers from the audience and added, “You didn’t hear a word [Nance] said earlier in this segment, because he can talk circles around your pathetic, douchey little ass from England, all right?”
Some may recall that Yiannopoulos was kicked off Twitter for, among other things, harassing SNL’s Leslie Jones. This night, Yiannopoulos referred to Jones as “barely literate.” To this, Wilmore added, “And one last thing: Leslie Jones is not ‘barely literate.’ Go f*** yourself again for that one, OK? She is a very thoughtful person, and very friendly.”
So basically, Wilmore did Maher’s job for him. Why isn’t Wilmore hosting a late-night show again?
Real Time With Bill Maher airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on HBO.