November 11, 2019 at 5:09 pm EST | by John Paul King
Bill Maher under fire for homophobic humor, again
Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher (Photo credit: Janet Van Ham/HBO)

Talk show host Bill Maher is once again facing criticism for using homophobic humor, this time for a feature he did on the most recent episode of his HBO TV show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

In the segment, which was making fun of Senator Lindsey Graham, the comedian included several jokes based on outdated gay stereotypes.

Though the focus of Maher’s rant was what he called Senator Graham’s “hypocrisy on steroids,” he read selections from a list titled “24 Things You Don’t Know About Lindsey Graham.” which included several one-liners referencing once-familiar clichés about gay people.

The full list:

  1. My name is Lindsey and my pronouns are He and Y’all.
  2. My spirit animal is a jellyfish.
  3. I burn calories by skipping to work.
  4. I’m the only Senator whose office has a bidet and a fainting couch.
  5. For three weeks in 1992 I was married to Liza Minnelli.
  6. In a fire, the first things I’d save are my bridal magazines.
  7. When I was in school, the kids would tease me by calling me “Lindsey.”
  8. I was the first person to push a dog around in a stroller.
  9. The greatest advice my mother gave me was to stop waving my hands when I run.
  10. My quote in the high school yearbook was “a lady is allowed to changed her mind.”
  11. My greatest legislative accomplishment is naming a post office after Nathan Lane.
  12. If Trump and I were a celebrity couple, I’d want the tabloids to call us “Donsey.”
  13. I once kissed Trump’s ass so hard I could taste Hannity.
  14. John McCain’s last words to me were “Let go of my hand.”
  15. People who say I’m anti-immigrant haven’t heard me talk about Siegfried and Roy.
  16. When people call me a “hawk” I just want to bomb the sh*t out of them.
  17. My favorite James Bond movie is Octo-yucky.
  18. I’m one of only three people in Washington allowed to trim President Trump’s nose hairs.
  19. I employ over a dozen pool boys even though I don’t own a pool.
  20. Irony alert! Thanks to a food allergy, I avoid fruit.
  21. For Halloween, I went as the Lindsey Graham from the Clinton impeachment.
  22. If you saw just five seconds of the videotape Trump has of me, everything would suddenly make sense.
  23. My nickname in the Air Force was “JAG-off.”
  24. If it was socially acceptable, I would wear nothing but scarves.

Graham has long been the butt of jokes around rumors of his homosexuality (rumors that he consistently denies), but some of Maher’s comedic digs within the list are based on negative tropes which are now largely considered demeaning and harmful.

Maher has been accused before of perpetuating homophobic stereotypes in his political comedy, such as when he joked earlier this year about the Trump-Putin relationship by saying, “Forget collusion, I want to know if there’s penetration.”

He’s not the only one, either. Comedian Chelsea Handler fell under fire over her homophobic jokes about Graham being gay, being a bottom, and having a “d*ck-sucking video.”

More recently, Broadway icon Patti LuPone was criticized for joking on Twitter that Graham was a “disgrace” who should “just bite the bullet and come out.”

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