Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s “Real Time,” said he worked with actor Woody Harrelson “a little bit” on his controversial “Saturday Night Live” monologue about the coronavirus vaccine.
While hosting “SNL” for the fifth time in February, Harrelson pushed a COVID-19 conspiracy theory when he told a joke about reading a movie script before the pandemic hit about drug cartels buying up media and politicians to force people into staying home unless they kept taking cartels’ drugs.
“I threw the script away,” claimed Harrelson, who also shared conspiracy theories tying 5G to the virus on social media. “I mean, who is going to believe that crazy idea? Being forced to do drugs? I do that voluntarily all day long.”
Maher, in a recent episode of his “Club Random” podcast, said he worked on the monologue with longtime pal Harrelson “a little bit” and said the actor’s decision to go off-script was “ballsy.”
“I mean that’s the plot of certain movies, shows, ‘It’s live, they can’t stop me, I’m gonna do this,’” said Maher. “I don’t know how much they knew about what the ending of that story was, but it was also a brilliant way to make that point.”
Maher said he was on the same page as Harrelson with regard to skepticism about pharmaceutical companies.
That wasn’t to say COVID-19 was not a real virus or that the vaccine didn’t work, he added.
The comedian continued: “The fact that he was able to, or willing to, put his considerable popularity, cause you know he’s a beloved figure, and say, ‘I’m gonna take the hit of some political capital by making this statement in this very high-profile arena.’ I mean, you gotta give the guy props for that even if you don’t agree with it.”
“I wouldn’t do it,” said his guest David Spade, eliciting laughter from Maher. Spade added that he has no opinions on it at all.