With great anger comes great scapegoating. And Bill Maher is furious.
Last week, with President Donald Trump’s administration descending deeper and deeper into chaos (and probable corruption), the Real Time host blamed Bill Clinton’s infamous tarmac tête-à-tête with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for kick-starting the Comey imbroglio; the week prior, it was Ivanka Trump for failing to mitigate the damage caused by her unstable father.
This week’s target? Hollywood.
“Now, I know conservatives think Hollywood ruined America by promoting race-mixing, drugs, and twisted smut, and I agree—those things should be taught at home,” cracked Maher. “But that’s not how Hollywood ruined America. It did it by making everything about superheroes.”
Although most superhero products are consumed/purchased by teenagers too young to vote, and millennials voted for Hillary Clinton by very large numbers, Maher argued that the current superhero glut has warped Americans’ minds. After listing the dozens and dozens of superhero projects that have crash-landed onto screens big and small, from Supergirl and Daredevil to Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers, the comedian got to the meat of his theory.
“If you’re asking, what’s the problem? The problem is that superhero movies imprint this mindset that we are not masters of our own destiny, and the best thing we can do is sit back and wait for Star Lord and a fucking raccoon to sweep in and save our sorry asses. Forget hard work, government institutions, diplomacy, investment. We just need a hero to rise. And so we put out the bat signal for one man who could step in and solve all of our problems very quickly,” offered Maher.
“And that’s how we got our latest superhero: Orange Sphincter,” he added, throwing to a photo of President Trump.
Sure, Hollywood may donate millions and millions to liberal causes—attracting the unending ire of the right—and its superhero movies may promote diversity (X-Men), immigration (the recent Logan), and even criticize the U.S. drone program (Captain America: Winter Soldier), but Maher posits that it’s also tricked many Americans into believing that it takes a lone hero, like the aforementioned Orange Sphincter, protected by his “power smirk and golden helmet [of hair],” to save us from the world’s ills.
Maher pointed out how, like Batman, Orange Sphincter “is a billionaire socialite from Gotham,” and like Superman, “he has a red cape but wears it in the front,” mocking his too-long ties.
“[It] all would be funnier if so many people in this country didn’t really believe in Orange Sphincter, didn’t really believe that he possesses super deal-making powers and a superior brain that can solve in minutes issues that have plagued the country for decades,” said Maher.
The HBO host then brought up a number of quotes from Trump boasting about his otherworldly abilities. “…in a short period of time I learned everything there is to know about health care,” he told Time magazine. Of peace between Israel and Palestine, the President remarked, “It’s something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”
And then the kicker, which he delivered during the Republican National Convention: “I alone can fix it.”
But Orange Sphincter isn’t like most superheroes, of course.
“This one is a little bit trickier because in this one, the superhero is the villain,” said Maher. “And that should make us all remember that, in this fight for America, we need to be our own superheroes.”