Bill Maher covered a range of news from this week in his Real Time opening monologue, including the SAG-AFTRA strike ending, the screening of uncensored Hamas attack footage and the overwhelming vote for abortion protections on Ohio’s election ballot.
To kick off Friday’s show, the host told the audience that they’re cheering especially loud tonight “because we’re in Hollywood and the actors strike is finally over.”
He went on to jokingly inform the “new younger people watching” that the “actors are the people in the movies, pointing at the CGI.”
The 118-day actors strike officially ended after SAG-AFTRA announced earlier this week that the union reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract with studios and streamers.
While many stars took to social media after to share their excitement for the end of the grueling strike, Maher had a different thought, adding, “With the actors strike over, who’s gonna figure out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Twitter.”
The Real Time host proceeded to address the screening of Bearing Witness earlier this week, a film comprised of 43 minutes of uncensored footage from the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Following the screening at the Museum of Tolerance in West L.A., reports indicated that some violent clashes broke out after the event was over and most attendees had left.
Maher went on to emphasize that it was held at the Museum of Tolerance, and that after the fights broke out, “14 people were treated for irony.”
“They were showing 43 minutes of the Hamas attack on October 7 in Israel, and without any editorialization, just the footage that they themselves, Hamas, took and wanted the world to see,” he added. “But the pro-Palestinian people, who demonstrated, they do not like this.”
Maher also made sure to note that college students “prefer to think of the Hamas people as just a kind of a rag-tag bunch of underdogs. Kind of the bad news bears of the Middle East.”
Later in his opening monologue, the host brought up the off-year elections, focusing on Ohio, where voters overwhelmingly decided to enshrine abortion protections in the state’s constitution.
“The good news for the Democrats, they do have kind of a kryptonite issue: abortion,” Maher said. “America loves abortion. Even in the red states… [when] it’s all the ballots, people are saying, ‘No, read my lips, no new babies.’”
The host proceeded to quip, “If he [Joe Biden] was smart, he would run as Abortin’ Joe,” adding his idea for a slogan: “I know things are tough but Abortin’ Joe feels your pain, give a hug to Abortin’ Joe.”
The guests on Friday’s Real Time episode were Ted Cruz, Jordan Peterson and Pamela Paul.