TV REVIEW: Real Time with Bill Maher – civilisation finally comes to New Zealand media landscape


Oh sweet baby Jesus on a cute uni-cycle, our tiny anti-intellectual Shaky Isles have finally got Real Time with Bill Maher and a new age of civilisation has begun.

Can I get a hallelujah? Considering Maher’s virulent and hilarious atheism, probably not.

Bill Maher is unashamedly liberal, he doesn’t pretend to be centrist, he calls it like he sees it and because we have so few broadcasters who can actually articulate a counter hegemonic narrative to the right wing bullshit that contaminates all corporate news media, he is a unique and powerful voice for reason.

Soho have brought Real Time over and it plays Monday 11pm right after Last Week Tonight making it the most intelligent and well informed hour of TV in NZ.

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Bill starts out with what must be the funniest left wing comedy monologue allowed by law and his digs this week at Trump were as eye wateringly savage as they were hilarious. His first guest was Jelani Cobb who was highlighting the racism and violence of American Police forces. More intelligence was shared in that 5 minutes of TV than has ever been allowed on NZ airwaves.

Where Real Time shines is their Panel discussion section. Unlike NZ TV, the panelists on Real Time are there based on their ability to articulate interesting ideas that furthers the debate. I say, ‘unlike NZ TV’ because the producers in NZ only allow safe opinions or frothing right free market maniacs onto TV. The debate this week on Real Time about Trump firing missiles at Syria provided more insight than The AM Show and The Project has managed on any subject all year.

In NZ we have this to keep the powerful to account…

…and this…

…and yes, that is a puppet on the far left of the panel debating the political issues of the day.

When these are our 7pm Fourth Estate guard dogs, it’s no wonder this country is a nation of fucking muppets.

It says something about us as a culture that the only media we can rely on to hold the powerful to account are from another country behind a paywall.

We could do Real Time in NZ, the decision to not fund it is a political one.


Real Time with Bill Maher

Soho Sky 10

Monday 11pm


  1. Much as I am a fan of Maher the man is a Zionist and hopelessly one eyed about Israel. His grasp of the history of the Middle East amounts to received dogma. So yeah nah I will check him out but he won’t be a must see like John Oliver.

  2. For quite some time now my son has been downloading via the interweb, Trevor Noah’s “The Daily Show”, Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show”, John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” as well as Keith Olberman’s “Resistance” blog and various offerings from The Young Turks (TYT). Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” is also a must but a bit more elusive to track down. All via YouTube or other websites.

    They’re all good left wing satire of varying degrees and completely illustrate the pointlessness of free to air NZ services. They also cost us absolutely nothing to watch unlike your sainted ‘Soho’ channel.

    Of course they are US centric and mostly international news focused but the opinions of the Mayors of Wellington or Pahiatua are unlikely to have any bearing on the end of the world…

    Likewise our ‘politician’s’ views…

  3. Seriously Bomber??? WTF!!! I think unfortunately people can access plenty of Islamophobia from here without having to drench themselves in the hatred of Bill Maher. Please take another look and reconsider!

  4. It’s that smirk. That ‘aren’t I clever?’ smirk.

    I agree with Shona – John Oliver – and Trevor Noah, who was good before he took over from Jon Stewart and is still improving.

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