“I’m not glad Stan Lee is dead, I’m sad you’re alive,” the HBO host for its late-night political talk-show ‘Real Time’ stated on the show’s second episode of its 17th season, airing Friday’s at 7 p.m PT/10 p.m. ET, exclusively on HBO. Maher is aware of the controversy he sparked following the passing of comic-book legend and pop-culture icon Stan Lee. At that time, Maher posted a blog post titled: “Adulting,” in which he would go on to argue that: “we’re using our smarts on stupid stuff. I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”
Now, Maher addressed the topic once more on his platform, titling the segment: “Goodbye, Mr. Strips.” In the piece, Maher would go on to continue his argument by stating: “To every person on social media who’s asked me since November, ‘Bill, what do you have to say about Stan Lee?’ – and to every paparazzi outside a restaurant who’s still shouting at me, ‘Bill, what about the Stan Lee thing?’ Okay. Your day has come,” he said.
"#NewRule: To every person on social media who's asked me since November, 'Bill, what do you have to say about Stan Lee?' – and to every paparazzi outside a restaurant who's still shouting at me, 'Bill, what about the Stan Lee thing?'…Okay. Your day has come.” – @BillMaher pic.twitter.com/5KyF2SaVnl
— Real Time (@RealTimers) January 26, 2019
He would go on to say: “I posted a blog that in no way was an attack on Mr. Lee, but took the occasion of his death to express my dismay at people who think comic books are literature, and superhero movies are great cinema and who, in general, are stuck in an everlasting childhood,” Maher explained to his audience. “Bragging that you’re all about the Marvel Universe is like boasting that your mother still pins your mittens to your sleeves.”
Maher furthered his rant that fans of Marvel and things of that sort, ultimately, needed to “grow up.” Going on to explain: “You can, if you want, like the exact same things you liked when you were ten but if you do, you need to grow up. That was the point of my blog. I’m not glad Stan Lee is dead, I’m sad you’re alive. By the way, if someone says you’re being childish and you react by throwing a tantrum, you’re not Iron Man — you’re Irony Man.”
Shortly following Lee’s death, Maher original comments were met with backlash by not only fans but industry professionals as well, as cult-filmmaker icon Kevin Smith called out Maher on his Hollywood Babble-On podcast. Alongside co-host Ralph Garman, Smith would retort by stating: “Just taking a shot when no shots are f-ckin’ necessary, and like, this guy, he did so f-ckin’ much for this world. He put so many smiles on people’s faces. He launched imaginations. He made kids feel part of something. He made adults feel part of something. He was a whole good. Everything about him was f-ckin’ good. He was sweet, he was nice, anything you ever heard that was negative, honestly, was f-ckin’ horseshit, made up. He was a great man, I’ll miss him all of my days.”
Smith — who knew the comic-book legend both professionally and personally — was made apart of the rant as Maher pointed the finger back at him, “My shot wasn’t at Stan Lee. It was at, you know, grown men who still dress like kids,” he said as he proceeded to show a photo of Smith wearing a branded hockey jersey. He continued: “Can we stop pretending that the writing in comic books is so good? Oh please! Every superhero movie is the same thing — a person who doesn’t have powers, gets them, has to figure out how they work, and then has to find a glowy thing. Justice League, glowy thing. Iron Man, glowy thing. Spider-Man, glory thing. Captain America, glowy thing. Glowy thing, glowy thing, glowy thing!”
By the end of his rant, Maher advised fans to embrace “adulting.” Finalizing his enraged monologue with “I’m sorry, but if you’re an adult playing with superhero dolls, I’m sorry — I mean collectible action figures — why not go all the way and drive to work on a Big Wheel?” You can watch the full episode on HBO right-now, but the controversy that is sure to follow this additional piling-on by Maher is sure to spark more dialogue on the necessity of escapism in the “adulting-world,” as Smith will presumably not be alone in providing an additional retort to the famed political comedian for his latest remarks on the iconic Comic creator Stan Lee.
Watch the full editorial titled New Rule below: