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Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

June 17th, 1998
Guests on this program were:

Joan Rivers
Tony Shalhoub
Andrea Thompson
Rick Roberts

Panel Discussion

[ Applause ]

All righty.
Let us meet our panel.
One of the stars of "Big Night," "Primary Colors" and the TV series "Wings," Tony Shalhoub. Tony.

[ Cheers and applause ]

How are you?
Good to see you again.
Host of the -- they love you.
"The Rick Roberts Show" on KOGO A.M. San Diego, Rick Roberts. There's Rick.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Right down the road.
How are you, Rick?
She plays Jill Turkendile on "N.Y.P.D. Blue. Andrea Thompson.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Hello, young lady.
Great pleasure to meet you.
And her nationally syndicated radio show is on WOR weeknights at 7:00, a comedy legend, Joan Rivers.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Hello, legend.
How are you?
Good to see you.

[ Applause ]

Well, it's great to see you all.
And you are a legend.

Joan: Yeah, sure.

Bill: And I read in the paper, I couldn't believe this, because you look my age, which is late 20s --

[ Laughter ]

Andrea: Yeah, we're all that age.

Bill: -- You are now eligible for Social Security. And I thought we should bring that up because there is a dozen new bills here just in California wanting to create special laws for senior citizens.

Joan: Thank God.

Bill: Really? You think so?

Andrea: It's like, you know, you've got somebody who's physically or mentally incapacitated, it's like scamming a child.

Joan: And they are children. I have a 90-year-old cousin. I took him to McDonald's this afternoon. He put his food in a bag and ate the beanie baby.

[ Laughter ]

You have to take care of them.

Bill: I don't know what that means, but it sounds funny. I'll tell you that. Ate the beanie baby. But -- no, but listen. They have laws like if a caretaker, someone who is in that line of work, steals from someone over 65 -- well, stealing should be a crime, period, shouldn't it? Why are we vulcanizing people --

Rick: Elderly people, for some reason we feel that elderly people have a certain entitlement. They seem fragile like little children. It's a crime. You stole from somebody. Period.

Joan: Yes, but older people are dying. And now with Viagra

[ Laughter ]

Andrea: They're dying and horny.

Joan: But you can't -- all of these terrible Ed McMahon letters that they get.

Bill: Yeah, that's true.

Joan: Oh, "Congratu --" You know what the letter should say? "Congratulations already, you have won nothing except a lot of pooh pooh." I mean, you saw --

Rick: Who wants the responsibility, Joan? Someone has to read that. I mean, someone has to have some responsibility for themselves. I mean, they sell off everything they own. They cash out all their assets and they fly off someplace. "Ed, I'm here. Where's my cash?"

Joan: But they're children.

Rick: Who's children?

Joan: Unfortunately, we hope they're dead, whose children. I mean, these are old people. I go out with these kind of people. They are -- I went out with a guy, he wanted me to meet his parents, he took me to the cemetery.

[ Laughter ]

Rick: There should be a law against that, then. There should be a law against that.

Tony: Yeah, but the question is whether it should be legislated or whether we should be taking care of -- where the rest of us, not you Joan, should be taking care of them. And on our own. Whether it's the children of the elderly people or the grandchildren of the elderly people or the other elderly people who are not dotty and who have some means.

Joan: They're all dotty.

Tony: They all are?

Joan: They hit a certain age.

Bill: Yeah, but you know what --

Andrea: My grandma is 84 years old and she's the sharpest one in the family.

Joan: She's got every marble, your grandmother?

Andrea: She doesn't have a body anymore, but she's got every marble. Yeah.

Joan: She's very lucky.

Bill: But a lot of them want it, you want it both ways. You're saying they're dotty, they deserve special privileges because they are more infirmed, and yet you cannot get a law passed that says over the age of 80 even you need to go back for your driver's license test. It's one way or the other. Either you're so infirmed that you need special laws or get off the road.

Joan: I'm for special laws.

Andrea: Yes, I am too.

Bill: No, no.

Joan: I don't want an 80-year-old driving. Let me tell you right now.

[ All talking at once ]

Andrea: Put that one right there in the package.

Bill: But that will never happen.

Tony: You're right. It will never happen.

Bill: Because elderly people vote more than any other people.

Rick: True.

Joan: For Herbert Hoover.

[ Laughter ]

Andrea: No. Personally, I'm looking forward to the day when I don't ride anything faster than a golf cart. And I think after a certain age, that should be it.

Joan: Let me tell you, getting older sucks. There is nothing -- the golden years

[ Spitting sound ]

To the golden years.

[ Laughter and applause ]

Bill: Does it bother you when you see movies out there where the leading man is Robert Redford or Nicholson or Eastwood and they're in their 60s and the leading lady is 28? Does that --

Joan: Bother me!

Andrea: It makes me laugh. It makes me laugh. It's ridiculous. You rarely see it. And when you do, when you see someone -- when you're in a restaurant having dinner and you see one of these old guys walk in with a 20-year-old girl, you laugh then, too.

Joan: You think it's his niece.

Andrea: Yeah right.

Bill: But I don't know one young woman who wouldn't do Sean Connery.

Andrea: Yeah, yeah.

[ Applause ]

Joan: I've seen him lately. A lot. Monica Lewinsky wouldn't do him.

[ Audience reacts ]

Bill: All right. We've got to take a commercial. We'll be back.

[ Applause ]

Bill: All right. We were talking about age. Let's go to the other end of the spectrum. Because I want to ask why this preposterous fixation the media has with people who are barely out of their teens. I mean, every magazine cover, every TV show. There was a study recently by the National Partnership for Women and Families and they said, you know, TV doesn't reflect the public. This is not a nation of only 19-year-olds.

Andrea: If you look at the demographics, the majority of the people in this country are going to be over 40 by the year 2000 anyway.

Bill: Then why am I constantly reading about Jennifer Love Hewitt? Do I care?

Andrea: I don't know. No, I don't either. Or about Leonardo DiCaprio or any of the rest of them?

Tony: They have biographies, these biographies of these people.

Andrea: Yeah, what can have happened?

Tony: On the best-seller list.

Bill: I know, of --

Joan: Leonardo DiCaprio. His biography. On the best-seller list. 12 pages.

[ Laughter and applause ]

Bill: But that's --

[ Applause ]

That's what I mean. The media treats them like they have something to say. Which, I'm sorry, you don't. It's wonderful to be young. You're beautiful. You don't have to be interesting.

Tony: No.

[ Laughter ]

Bill: It wouldn't really be fair if you were at that point.

Joan: I don't care what Leonardo DiCaprio has to say. I don't even care what his father has to say.

Rick: My 13-year-old daughter cares a lot. And she knows how to get into dad's pocket. And that's what this is all about. It's driven towards the disposable dollar. I mean, no, you don't care.

Bill: Who has money, 13-year-olds or you?

Rick: You got the money. But I let it go. You know, I let it go for somebody to keep the grades up. "Yeah, we can go see Hanson. You do this, you do that." All those parent kind of things.

Andrea: That's the American way. You bribe them.

Bill: But that's fine. When I was a kid there were like "Tiger Beat" and "Seventeen" and magazines for kids that had those kids on the cover. Now those kids are on the cover of every magazine and text follows the pictures. So there are interviews with --

Tony: It has to all be, it's all, it has to all be about sex. That's all it is.

Bill: No, I disagree with you.

Tony: They're selling sex. And youth and sex are synonymous because nobody wants to think about old people having sex or older people having sex.

[ Laughter and applause ]

Andrea: When I'm old, I will.

Rick: Joan, jump in here.

Joan: Oh, shut up!

Tony: Joan, I do. I do. I'm saying the other people don't want to think --

Joan: Oh, go to hell.

[ Laughter and applause ]

Rick: It's marketing. It's pure and simple. I don't think it's about sex. My daughter's not buying these. I mean, she's a daughter.

Tony: How old is she?

Rick: She's 13.

Joan: 13. Oh, please.

Rick: I don't believe my daughter's having sex.

Joan: Your daughter is having sex with her pillow right now.

[ Laughter ]

Rick: That's all right. Until she gets out of the house, I'll buy pillows. I don't care about that.

Andrea: Better not read that "Time" magazine article then. "What do kids know about sex that you don't know?"

Bill: Uh.

Andrea: A lot more than we did at that age.

Joan: I knew nothing. I dated Hannibal. My wedding night was --

[ Laughter ]

Bill: That's a long time ago. Hannibal.

Joan: They believed me.

Rick: You made the analogy --

Bill: You read "Beowulf" in installments.

[ Laughter ]

Rick: You made the analogy that who cares about Leonardo DiCaprio. We don't care obviously. And it's not "90210: A Legend Revisited" on the documentary channel. We don't care about that. But we're paying for it, one way or the other. We're paying for it through the kids.

Tony: But are we, are we -- is it the appetite of the American public? Is the appetite there first or is the appetite created by the media?

Bill: That's exactly what I'm talking about.

Tony: Because I'm not sure. And I don't mean to insult the intelligence of the American public, but --

[ Laughter ]

Joan: Go ahead.

Tony: But I will. Do enough people really care about things to begin with or are they, do they need to be told what to care about or what to be interested in?

Bill: But I think in this case, I think the media is behind the public, I really do.

Tony: You mean, that the public is --

Bill: Yes. Because I don't think someone of almost any age wants to know what, you know, "What makes that guy on 'Dawson's Creek' tick?" That's not what I'm thinking. But they have to put him on the cover of the magazine because that's what they think will sell the magazine. So then the article inside has to be about him. And at 19, how interesting can you be?

Joan: First of all, the reason "Titanic" was such a hit, who are we kidding? Your daughter and kids like that went back to see it three and four and five times.

Bill: Yes.

Joan: So these people bring in the money. Leonardo is not the brightest bulb on the tree. You know. His idea of heavy reading is Johnny Depp's tattoo.

[ Laughter ]

But the point is -- it's all money. You know that.

Bill: But that's what I'm asking. The people who have the money are not 14. Why don't they do things --

Rick: What you're saying is that the 13-year-olds don't have the money. I agree with that. They shouldn't have the money. But I should have all the money.

[ Laughter ]

Well, I should.

But you do.

So that's --

[ Laughter and applause ]

Bill: All right. I have to take a commercial. We'll try to get to the bottom of that. I don't know.

[ Applause ]

Bill: All right. Everybody must have seen on the news this weekend the story of the surprise marriage, the guy who four years ago said, "I am going to set the wedding date and then find the girl." And what happened? He did get married. 28, I think, women showed up. To see if they wanted to marry him. His friends met them, interviewed them, chose the one that they thought would be appropriate for him. And he married her pretty much sight unseen. And people said, "It's crazy." My question, is it any crazier than doing it over drinks and shrimp toast?

[ Laughter ]

Tony: No. I think it's -- I mean, I feel sorry for -- I feel sorry for the women who didn't get picked.

Andrea: Yeah.

Tony: And I feel sorry for the woman who did get picked that she would have to get into line to be picked. I mean, why was -- when I was single, where were these women who were like looking around --

[ Laughter ]

Where do they come from?

Andrea: And if that guy's really that interesting, wouldn't somebody have wanted to marry him beforehand?

Bill: You know, that is a good question. Why he was --

Joan: Yeah, but see, it's very California. That's a courtship out here. "Hello --

[ Popping sound ]

Let's go."

[ Laughter and applause ]

It's just -- you know, my husband, I married my husband in 24 hours.

Tony: Are you serious? 24 hours after you met him?

Joan: 24 hours after I met him. He had no idea the hair he loved to touch he could take with him to the office. We knew nothing about each other. And we -- it lasted 21 years.

Tony: Were you really, really both very drunk at the time?

Joan: No. We were Jewish. We were full.

[ Laughter ]

Rick: You were very full.

Joan: What are you saying?

[ Laughter ]

Bill: So you did almost the same thing. You married somebody who you didn't know --

Joan: But we --

Bill: Because you just felt --

Joan: We just clicked.

Rick: She has a point. What kind of guy has to hold a lottery to get a wife? I mean, you know, on a serious note, I mean, if we're going to say marriage is an institution, and I know it's a one-liner waiting to happen --

Joan: No, no, I believe in this.

Rick: But if marriage is an institution, it needs to be revered and hold sacred to some degree, then, you know, this is nuts. This is nothing more than a media ploy. As soon as the guy gets a book deal, a call from Hollywood, she gets 25%, "Adios. It's been fun."

[ All talking at once ]

[ Applause ]

Joan: 15 minutes of fame.

Andrea: And there was the other guy, the Jewish guy in Alaska who was looking for a bride. He was willing to move to Alaska. It's the same kind of thing. It takes it and makes it very insignificant.

Rick: Insignificant is a good word.

[ All talking at once ]

Andrea: Especially considering the divorce rate.

Bill: You are shortchanging a large part of the world which has arranged marriages. Many people around this globe do it this way and they say it works.

Tony: Very successfully.

Bill: The success rate because people are in a marriage and, first of all, they feel, "Well, now we have to work at it." You know.

Joan: But also, where is this, Minnesota.

Bill: This was at -- they got married at the Mall of America. How romantic is that?

[ Laughter ]

Joan: Everyone forgets there's a law in Minnesota that the marriage is not considered final for three days. So it could be a big, hot weekend. They both took Viagra cocktails, ran around, kiss, kiss, kiss, and Monday morning you go, "You want to know? You're a little hairy. Forget it."

[ Laughter ]

It's a, you know, a shloop and a kiss.

Bill: How romantic.

[ Laughter ]

But there's also something to be said for the fact that these two are entering into a completely virgin territory as far as their sex life goes. Their sex life is going to be pretty hot for like the first few years of their marriage, whereas most people get married after they've been dating a few years, when they're already tired of the sex.

Joan: Yeah, yeah.

Bill: The wedding night is a disappointment.

Joan: Aren't they all?

[ Laughter ]

Bill: Well, not yours. You only knew the guy a day.

Joan: Yeah, but I didn't know the facts of life. I could have a whole routine on this. No, but what if they don't like each other sexually? See, I think today, before you get married, truly people should sleep with at least six people. Sex is a big --

Tony: At the same time?

Joan: At the same time, no. There's an idea.

[ Applause ]

Because sex is so important. What if they get into bed and they find out that --

Andrea: They should test drive that car first.

Joan: Yeah, test drive.

Rick: Getting back to this particular -- this is a joke, Bill. You know this. You're the best in the world at jokes. This is a joke. The guy wanted some media coverage.

Bill: No. She's the best in the world.

Rick: No, she's not --

Bill: And I remember that routine from 1968. I remember your husband. You got into bed. You were naked. And he said, "Let me help you with those buttons."

Joan: And I said, "I am naked," right? That is a --

[ Laughter ]

I didn't go for it.

Bill: And you didn't want the light on. You said, "Close the car door." I remember your whole act. All right, we got to take a break. We'll be right back.

[ Applause ]

Announcer: Join us tomorrow when our guests will be, James McDaniel, Jack LaLanne, Megan Gallagher and Roger Stone.

Bill: All right, we're talking about marriage and seniors.

Tony: I just wanted to ask Rick, what you would think if five years down the road, seven years down the road or ten, this couple, still married, has two, three kids, they're doin' well, they're thriving.

Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

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