Political humor has been around since the dawn of time. Just go look at History of the World Part One. Of course, these days, comedians aren’t getting fed to the lions. In fact, on some occasions they are even invited to the White House. Bill Maher has been doing leftist political comedy for quite some time. I had not watched him on standup in nearly 20 years (One Night Stands) prior to receiving this dvd but I have enjoyed his show Politically Incorrect fairly recently. I honestly hoped that it wouldn’t be all political humor but we shall soon see.
This stand up special was filmed on July 21st, 2007 at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, Massachusetts. “The Decider” as a title is a play on one of the nicknames that George Bush has accumulated over the years. Bill Maher starts a strong set of material. His topics range from the Iraq War to sexuality to the current presidential race to double standards to his favorite subject of choice: our current president George Bush. Maher has the crowd firmly behind him as he delivers a near full hour of side splitting comedy.
My political views are mostly in the middle. But at this point of my life, I can say I tend to learn towards the left. Bill Maher is funny to me. I would not say rip-roaring, oh my god he is the best ever, speak to me my brother funny. That’s reserved for George Carlin. However, he is very good at going off on George Bush, speaking about religion, and telling an accurate tale in relation to current events. He spares the Democratic party for the most part, only taking a couple of little shots at the Clintons and future democratic hopefuls but still protecting them for the most part. If you happen to be a Republican or lean toward the right, chances are you are going to have a hard time finding this funny. You might even find it offensive.
Since this was broadcast on HBO, we should be able to expect quality presentation. The special is shot in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and looks great. Even though Bill has considerably aged since I last saw him, the presentation looks very good. The image is very clear and everybody around Bill has a nice bit of detail.
Audio is provided in 2.0 Dolby Digital English. The audio is very clear and discernable. Bill Maher has excellent projection and the dvd provides a great audio performance. No Subtitles are provided but hopefully you won’t need them as Bill doesn’t have any strong accent.
- Bill Maher Finds a Purpose in Life 9:06: This is actually the encore of the same performance. So it is questionable if this is a real extra. However, the final nine minutes of Bill’s little rendezvous to the Berklee Performance Center is spent discussing the book The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. This book drives at self help and how to live your life for God. However, this book really just serves as something for Bill to rant about as he finishes out the last few minutes with arguably his best material.
Bill Maher is continuing down the same path Al Franken has in my eyes for the last few years. I used to read all of Al Franken’s books and watched him on SNL reruns all the time. However, somewhere along the way he became too preachy and less comedic. I love political humor, however I have always been under the notion that nobody should be spared. Bill Maher appears to be going down that same slope. His last special, The Decider, is very funny material. There are moments however where he comes close to crossing the line. He also breaks out some of his old material including that about Michael Jackson. So, it is far from perfect. But as long as you lean towards the left or at least not ultra conservative you should find it an enjoyable sixty minutes. Just enough time for you to laugh over our current president and worry that the next one whether Republican or Democrat might be more of the same.
Other Coverage & Reviews
- Bill Maher returns to HBO without writers
- DvdVerdict.com – “Definitely worth a look if you’re a fan, but if you’re not already on Maher’s page, this one’s not going to change your mind.”