Bill Maher Plans to Retire From Standup After Final Special

Exploring Bill Maher's Next Steps Beyond Standup Comedy

by Zain ul Abedin
Bill Maher Plans to Retire From Standup After Final Special
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Bill Maher, the seasoned comedian and talk show host, hinted at a significant shift in his career during a recent episode of his Club Random podcast with Jerry Seinfeld. Maher, who has been a staple in the standup comedy scene for over four decades, revealed that his forthcoming HBO special might be his curtain call in the world of standup comedy.

In a candid exchange with Seinfeld, Maher expressed his apprehension about stepping away from the standup stage, stating, "I'm going to stop doing [standup] after this year." The news seemed to take Seinfeld by surprise, as Maher quickly added, "I don’t want to make a big announcement or something." However, he acknowledged the significance of his upcoming special, noting it would be his 13th for HBO, which Maher views as a poignant milestone in his career.

Reflecting on the demands of standup, Maher likened the craft to playing the cello, emphasizing the constant need for practice and dedication. "You can't just walk up there. You have to stay in practice," Maher explained. Despite his love for the art form and the joy it has brought him, Maher admitted that juggling his standup career with his long-running talk show, *Real Time With Bill Maher*, has been challenging.

Maher's Future Plans

Seinfeld, probing Maher's relentless commitment to standup alongside his talk show duties, questioned why Maher kept at it. Maher responded with fervor about how standup and his show symbiotically benefited each other.

He shared that the freedom and immediacy of live standup provided a creative outlet that complemented the structured format of his talk show. Looking ahead, Maher discussed potential new avenues to explore once freed from the rigorous demands of standup preparation.

He floated the idea of doing more live events similar to his *Club Random* podcast, which could offer a new kind of engagement with his audience. "That’s kind of an interesting option that people do nowadays. It's kind of an event," he mused.

Despite his announcement, Maher left the door open to a possible return, highlighting the deep connection he feels with standup comedy. "After 40 years, that’s why I don’t want to make an announcement like, ‘This is my final - ," he trailed off. "I might change my mind. It might be like cutting off a limb, and I have to go back to it."