May 1, 2005

Comedian Bill Maher Speaks Up for Singles

Comedian Bill Maher has made a career out of pushing topical hot buttons -- and got fired by ABC for it. Some of his most impassioned rants focused on how single and unmarried Americans are treated in our culture. Here is what Maher, the 49-year-old host of ``Real Time With Bill Maher'' (HBO, 8 p.m. Fridays), has said about the subject:

 ``Someone like myself, who has never been married, and I think other single people, feel like we're second-class citizens, that somehow we're deficient because we never got married. And I remind you a lot of successful people never got married, like Oprah Winfrey and the pope!''-- ``Real Time,'' Feb. 25, 2005.

 ``I'm single and middle-aged, which of course is against the law in America. It means you're evil and wrong and commitment-phobic'' -- ``Larry King Live,'' 2002.

 ``I don't know why people never listen to me when I say I'm not against marriage -- just against it for me. And even that could change someday. I do realize there are millions of people who are happy married. I would estimate the percentage at around 20 to 25 percent. Half get divorced, and half of the half stay married and not happy.'' -- in an online chat in 2002.

 On married co-workers leaving work early because of their children: ``The fact that a child is in your life makes you sort of more deserving of our resources -- I always say that is not really true. You might want to go see your twins in the school play; I might have twins in my jacuzzi, Larry. It's all a matter of what people want to do with their spare time'' -- ``Larry King Live,'' 2002.

-- Mark de la Vina