Bill Maher is clearly not trying to make any friends within the comic book loving community. Following the passing of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, who passed away recently at the age of 95, the comedian and politically-outspoken TV host made some controversial comments about Lee and comic books in general, questioning people's obsession with Lee's work and even going so far as to say only a country obsessed with comic books would have elected Donald Trump as president. Now, despite a ton of backlash, Maher has doubled down on his comments.
The Real Time host recently appeared as a guest on Larry King Now. During the interview, the subject of Bill Maher's recent comments came up. In the time since his initial statement, Stan Lee's company Pow! Entertainment released a response, calling Maher's outlook "disgusting," while the internet proceeded to tear Maher a new one. Here's what Maher had to say about it.
"Talk about making my point for me: Yeah, I don't know very much about Stan Lee and it certainly wasn't a swipe at Stan Lee."
Many certainly took it as a swipe at Stan Lee. At that point, host Larry King interjected saying, "You would have liked him. He was a really nice guy." That didn't seem to matter as Bill Maher continued with his lambasting of comic book culture and the idolization of Stan Lee. The host admitted he never really even read comic books as a kid. Despite that, he proceeded to call a culture that would consider these works important dumb.
"Yeah, fine. I am agnostic on Stan Lee. I don't read comic books. I didn't even read them when I was a child. What I was saying is, a culture that thinks that comic books and comic book movies are profound meditations on the human condition is a dumb f****** culture. And for people to get mad at that just proves my point."
Stan Lee, who co-created many of the most famous characters in pop culture such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Black Panther and many more, was mourned all over the world following his passing. In recent years, the characters that he helped create, along with artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, have become the subject of the biggest movies on the planet. As such, many people from all walks of life feel a deep connection with Lee's work and it was more than reasonable to assume people would mourn his passing.
Part of the problem is that Bill Maher admittedly hasn't even really read comic books. As such, he can't possibly understand the commentary contained within the works of Stan Lee, a man who used his platform not only to entertain, but to send messages of positivity and to make poignant social commentary. Stan Lee's legacy won't suffer one bit as a result of these seemingly misguided comments. On the other hand, Maher may very well have alienated a large chunk of his own potential audience. Feel free to check out the interview clip from the Larry King YouTube channel below.