There have been a few times when I’ve sworn I was done with Bill Maher because he did something incredibly anti-science on his show,¬†like his dangerous anti-vaccination remarks or the interview with the “doctor” who claimed he had an AIDS cure made from the milk of arthritic goats (which I covered on my radio show a couple of years ago). Yet I keep going back — and even went to see Maher do standup here in St. Louis this summer — because he’s still very funny, very smart, and very liberal, and I don’t think there’s enough of all three in our world.

I also have a soft spot in my heart for Maher because, before he began his TV career, when he was a touring standup, he would always stop in to spend time on my radio show whenever he came through town. I vividly remember a morning in Washington, DC, when Maher was in the studio with me and Bob Somerby (another comedian who was a regular contributor to my show) called in from the road in New England. The two knew each other well from playing so many of the same clubs, so I just let them talk on the air for about 15 minutes, reminiscing and kidding each other. I wish I had tape of that, or any other guest spot Maher did on my radio show in that era, but all I have are transcripts (below) of two of those many appearances.

I’m mentioning all this because, last night, HBO aired an anniversary edition of Maher’s “Real Time,” which I was going to review. However, once again, my friend Mark Evanier has beaten me to it and said everything I would have said, so go read his piece, which I now don’t have to write.

Previously on Harris Online…