Bill Maher Met With Dead Silence After Joke on ‘The View’: ‘Too Dark!’

Bill Maher, a seasoned comedian known for his controversial and often edgy humor, found himself in an awkward situation on “The View” when one of his jokes fell flat. The silence that followed was so palpable, Maher had to clarify he was indeed joking. Let’s dive into what happened during this tense moment on the popular daytime talk show.

Setting the Scene: Maher’s Appearance on “The View”

A Comedic Promotion

Bill Maher appeared on “The View” to promote his latest book, “What This Comedian Said Will Shock You.” As expected, the conversation quickly turned to current events and political commentary, areas where Maher thrives.

The Woke Debate

The controversy began when host Sunny Hostin called out Maher for his use of the word “woke.” Hostin argued that the term has been hijacked by right-wingers and twisted to suit their narratives. Maher, however, defended his use of the term, claiming that words evolve just as political parties do.

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The Joke That Fell Flat

Maher’s Risky Joke

In the heat of the debate, Maher made a bold statement: “I’m old enough to remember when it was the conservatives who hated the Jews, OK?” This was intended as a jab at the shifting dynamics of political ideologies over time.

The Audience Reaction

The immediate response was a deafening silence. Except for host Joy Behar, who quietly acknowledged the statement with a “Yeah,” the rest of the panel and the audience remained silent. Maher, sensing the tension, clarified, “That was a joke.”

“Too Dark!” Response

Alyssa Farah Griffin, one of the hosts, broke the silence with a light-hearted “Too dark! Too dark,” which elicited some laughter from the audience. Maher, however, stood by his comment, adding, “Well, maybe it is, but it’s true.”

Bill Maher
Bill Maher

The Aftermath

Public Reactions

Following the show, reactions were mixed. Some viewers appreciated Maher’s unfiltered approach, while others felt his joke was inappropriate for daytime television. The incident sparked discussions on social media about the boundaries of comedy and political correctness.

Maher’s Standpoint

Maher has always been known for pushing the envelope. In his view, comedy is a vehicle for truth, even when it makes people uncomfortable. This incident on “The View” was just another example of his commitment to this philosophy.

The Evolution of “Woke”

Origins and Misinterpretations

Originally, “woke” was a term used within African American communities to signify awareness of social injustices. Over time, it has been adopted and adapted by various groups, often losing its original context.

Political Weaponization

In recent years, “woke” has become a buzzword in political discourse, often used pejoratively by conservatives to criticize progressive policies and attitudes. This shift in usage was a central point in the debate between Maher and Hostin.

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Comedy in the Crossfire

Comedians like Maher often find themselves walking a tightrope, balancing humor with societal sensitivities. The silence that greeted his joke on “The View” is a testament to the challenging environment for comedy in today’s politically charged climate.

The Role of Intent

While some argue that intent should be considered in comedy, others believe that certain topics should be off-limits. Maher’s joke touched on deeply sensitive historical and cultural issues, highlighting the delicate nature of humor in public discourse.


Bill Maher’s appearance on “The View” and the subsequent reaction to his joke underscore the complexities of modern comedy and political commentary. While his humor often pushes boundaries, it also provokes thought and conversation, which is a hallmark of effective comedy. As society continues to grapple with issues of language and sensitivity, moments like these remind us of the power and peril of humor.


1. Why was Bill Maher’s joke controversial?

Bill Maher’s joke was controversial because it touched on sensitive historical and cultural issues, particularly regarding political ideologies and anti-Semitism.

2. What was the audience’s reaction to Maher’s joke on “The View”?

The audience’s reaction was predominantly silence, with a brief acknowledgment from host Joy Behar and a light-hearted response from Alyssa Farah Griffin.

3. What is the significance of the term “woke”?

“Woke” originally signified awareness of social injustices but has since been co-opted and used pejoratively in political discourse, losing much of its original meaning.

4. How does Bill Maher view the role of comedy?

Bill Maher views comedy as a vehicle for truth and believes that humor can and should make people uncomfortable as a means of sparking thought and conversation.

5. What are the challenges of being a comedian in today’s political climate?

Comedians today must navigate a landscape where sensitivities are heightened, and jokes can easily be misinterpreted or deemed inappropriate, making the balance between humor and societal norms more challenging.

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