April 25, 2000
Guests on this program were:
  Tia Carrere
Reno Collier
Ken Hamblin
Todd Rundgren

Bill's Opening

Bill: Thank you very much.
Oh, thank you.
I know why you're here, to get your daily Elian Gonzalez fix.

[ Laughter ]

Let me catch you up on the news.
They have moved him.
He's now in a house at the Wye River plantation, living there with his father.
Janet Reno had to report to Congress, and President Clinton weighed in today.
He said, you know, "Leave this family alone.
They've been through enough."
He said, "I know what it's like to be desperate enough to try hiding someone in a closet."

[ Laughter ]

[ Applause ]

I kid the president.
Yeah, now, the relatives, the cuckoo, nutty, drunken relatives of Elian Gonzalez, who had him kidnapped before they snatched him back, every day they make another wild, insane accusation.
Today they said -- I couldn't make this up -- they said, President Clinton is being blackmailed by Fidel Castro.

[ Laughter ]

That's why Clinton wants the boy here and does not want him to go back to Cuba, because Castro is blackmailing Clinton with telephone sex tapes.

[ Laughter ]

I couldn't make this up.
And, you know, we cannot let some foreign dictator blackmail our president about sex.
That is the job of the Republicans in Congress, ladies and gentlemen.

[ Applause ]

You know, I mean --
We'd have to find out about his sex life.

[ Laughter ]

Well, yeah, the other thing the crazy relatives want to do is --
they're up in Washington, they followed the kid up there to Washington.
They don't seem to have jobs.

[ Laughter ]

And they are pressing for a shared living arrangement.
Like this is going to work.
Some sort of house where they can all live together.

[ Laughter ]

Psychologists are saying this is not really workable, but it is a great sitcom premise for Paul Rodriguez.
They think that he could --
kind of "I Love Lucy" meets "The Brady Bunch," just really --

[ Laughter ]

Finally, Vermont -- state of Vermont, anybody -- has made history today, finally, they are the first state where gay couples have the exact same rights as any other married couple.
They are expecting a lot of gay people now to want to move to Vermont.
That is until they find out that the closest thing they have there to a disco is bingo night at the Elks Lodge.

[ Applause ]

Thank you.

Panel Discussion

Let us meet our panel, very funny comedian who performed at this year's aspen comedy festival, Reno Collier.
Reno, hey!

[ Applause ]

How are you doing?

[ Applause ]

He's the columnist and radio host and his book is "Plain Talk and Common Sense From the Black Avenger," Ken Hamblin.

[ Applause ]

Ken: Good to see you.

Bill: Okay.

Ken: All right.

Bill: All right.
Ken, unless you're on heroin right now, take the glasses off.

[ Laughter ]

All right.
He's an innovative singer and finder of online company patronet.com.
His new song is "I Hate My Frickin' ISP."
Todd Rundgren right over here.

[ Applause ]

I know, I know.
It's okay.

Todd: We been down this road before.

Bill: I know you are on heroin.
And she is the beautiful actress and star of the popular TV show "Relic Hunter," Tia Carrere.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Tia: Hi.

Bill: Hi, gorgeous.
Nice to see you.

Tia: Nice to see you.

Bill: How are you doing?
Good to see you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

I don't know where you two guys have sunglasses on.

Reno: Sun's out in California.
You got to get out more.

Bill: Not in here.
I promise, it doesn't make you cooler.
Anyway, we used to give out this award, of course, Prince's symbol, who I found out is a fan of the show, so I'm not going to make fun of him anymore.
But we used to give out the "Get over yourself" award, which was given to him because he couldn't even use the name Prince anymore.
And then we gave it out to many people who needed to get over themselves.
Well, we don't do it formally anymore, but I would like to informally give this award now to the Cubans of Miami, get over yourselves!

[ Cheers and applause ]

I mean, I have just had about enough.
You know what?
It was bad that Castro took over your island.
I'm sorry, but it's not the Holocaust.
Lots of people have gone through things like this.
Stop holding this country hostage, this kid hostage.

Tia: I think they're in a vacuum in Little Havana, and they feel so self-righteous in their little piece of the world.

Bill: Right.

Tia: But I think they went to Washington, D.C. --

Bill: The relatives.

Tia: Yes.

Bill: The insane relatives.

[ Laughter ]

Tia: And there were no rallying supporters.
Actually, the papers said they looked a little lost.
They didn't know what to do, because there was no one rallying behind them going, "Yeah, it's a political thing."

Ken: This is going to sound sexist but -- what is it, Marisleysis.

Bill: Marisleysis, the insane cousin.

Ken: She needs to meet a nice Cuban boy and have ni¥os.
That's it.

Ken: This is not a puppy, okay.
She needs to have a baby, and it will put a stop to all of that nonsense.

Todd: And abuse that baby.

Tia: Abuse that child.

[ Applause ]

Ken: And she'll have the right to.

Todd: And what if this person is not mentally stable, yet she is the spokesperson for the family.

Tia: That's frightening.

Todd: They take the craziest person in the family and make them the spokesperson for the family.

Bill: We don't know she's the craziest.
She may be the sanest.

Todd: She's only the one who --

Bill: She's the soberest.

[ Laughter ]

Todd: She's been at the hospital eight times during the stay of Elian Gonzalez.

Bill: Right.
She had fainting spells every day.

Ken: The only reason I accepted this invitation to be here today is because I knew there was only one man in America that could possibly answer the question, "What was the fisherman doing there at 3:00 in the morning?"

Bill: You know --

[ Laughter ]

You said she needed to get married.
Is the fisherman the boyfriend now?

Ken: Who knows?

Bill: Exactly.

Reno: I had a drunk Uncle and I was allowed to go there for the weekend.
They left this kid with these drunk people for months, weeks.

Todd: But 3:00 in the morning.

Bill: I agree.
What is the fisherman --

[ Laughter ]

What is -- it's like --
^ and the fisherman too ^

[ Applause ]

What is the fisherman doing there?
This guy saw 15 minutes of fame out there in the ocean.

Tia: That's the key.
That's the key.

Todd: That's the fish he caught.
I was fortunate enough --
since I live in Hawaii -- I just happened to tune in about five minutes after the whole thing started and was able to see the entire thing, including the embarrassing performance of the news media on four or five different channel and everything that went with it.
But I saw this guy give this performance -- literally the same performance -- to three different news cameras, one after another.
The exact same performance.
K> The fisherman?

Todd: Yeah.

Ken: You missed Marisleysis?

Todd: Oh, I caught her later.
She had to come down a little bit.

Bill: It's like Judge Judy and then the other judge.
The fisherman is on first.

Tia: Well, it's crazy that it even got to this point.
I mean, it was such a clear-cut case.
No matter what you feel about Castro, no matter what you feel about, "Oh, the mother gave her life to give this kid a better life," the father's still alive.
There is no discussion.

Bill: Right.

[ Applause ]

Tia: There is no discussion.

Ken: But why is it that --
Why is it that liberals seem to understand that and the whole conservative right wing is going bonkers, calling for investigations?
And I tell you what, I believe this matter has caused the conservative movement in this country to give up the moral high ground.
These are the people that had objections to homosexuals teaching in the schools.

Bill: Family values.

Ken: Exactly.
To condoms being given out.

Bill: Right.
But they want the kid to live with the drunk Uncle And the insane cousin.

[ Laughter ]

Todd: It reveals the hypocrisy in hard-core conservatives.

Ken: I am heartbroken to be associated with that side of the political spectrum.
It is an amazing thing.

[ All talking at once ]

Bill: I'm going to take your glasses off.
They'll be ashamed to be associated with you.

[ Laughter ]

Ken: Listen --

[ All talking at once ]

Reno: Let's have a moment of kudos for those -- for that entire operation.
Less than three minutes, smooth as silk, in, knock the doors down --

Bill: As I always say, Janet Reno, the only one with balls in that administration.

[ Laughter ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

We'll take a break.
We'll be right back.

[ Applause ]

Bill: All right, we were talking about the Cuban community down there in Miami.
I understand that there's rifts now between a lot of other Hispanic communities.
They think that the Cubans are making them look bad.
But you know what, they're not alone in this world of political correctness.
I think they have a lot of help.
Listen to this --
a judge in appellate court in San Francisco has ruled now --
you know what profiling is, right, when you --

Ken: No, gee, what?

[ Laughter ]

Bill: Right.
Driving while black.
That's profiling.

[ Laughter ]

Listen to this, he has ruled that the border patrol -- and this is the border patrol on the Rio Grande with Mexico -- can no longer use Hispanic appearance as a factor --

[ Laughter ]

I can't even say this without laughing -- in deciding to stop a motorist.

Ken: It's about time we start catching those damn Canadians.

[ Laughter ]

Bill: Yeah.
Is that not insane and preposterous --

Todd: Know what the border is.

Ken: Bill, it is no different than any big city, L.A., Chicago, New York.
A guy on the corner of 4th and Main snatches a purse and he takes off and the cops on patrol know ha that he's a male, 5'2", and every Italian, every African-American, every Asian, every Mexican gets stopped because dispatch won't say that he's black or Mexican or whatever.
So it's PC just going down to the border and it's stupid.

Reno: It's not Chinese people going over there.
It's all Hispanic people.

Ken: You can't say "Chinaman."
It's up there with saying "Nigger" and "Spic."
It's now Politically Incorrect to say "Chinaman."

[ Laughter ]

You can't say "Chinaman."

Reno: I didn't say "Chinaman."

Tia: He said Chinese.
I said "Chinese," you said "Chinaman."

Ken: Sorry.

[ Laughter ]

Bill: Who has said "Chinaman" since Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown."
I never heard of --

Todd: Don't you think this is the same as going into a black neighborhood and saying -- and profiling black people.

Bill: No!

Todd: But the point is, there are just as many Brown people on this side of the border as on other side of the board when you go along the California, Texas --

Ken: The odds are --

Todd: The boarders on Mexico and there are legitimate Mexican citizens living in the United States.

Ken: The odds are that a brown person in Minnesota is there legally.
A guy in El Paso may not be.

Todd: Just because he's Brown and he's in El Paso, the odds are he's not there legally?

Reno: Yes.

Ken: You know what you want to do, we want to take over Mexico and push it back a little further and then your argument would hold water.

Tia: But --

[ Laughter ]

Reno: Not now --

[ All talking at once ]

Tia: Are they talking about --

Reno: So you're saying there's nothing but white people along the border on one side.

Ken: No, I'm saying that the odds are very, very --

Bill: Fellas --

Ken: -- Probable that when you get a brown guy with his belongings in a plastic bag and wet ankles moving through the underbrush --

Reno: Let's elaborate.

[ All talking at once ]

Ken: I've been there.
I've seen it, all right!
Trust me.
I know.

Tia: Are they saying that they can stop people in El Paso driving down there street on their way to work, or are we talking about like, as they're crossing the border to stop them and say --

Bill: No, right.
We're talking about the border patrol, whose job is to patrol the border.
You can argue if that's a righteous thing or not, because, after all, we did steal the country.

Ken: We did not steal the country.
They lost the war, and we spent gold for it.

Tia: That's another conversation.

Ken: Come on, bill.

Bill: You didn't let me finish.
We stole the country, but they stole it, too.
I hate that argument that the Spanish people make, "Oh, it's our country."
You know what, you stole it from the Indians.
We're all thieves.
Another get over yourself!

[ Applause ]

So you can argue that.
But if you accept the status quo that we do have to protect our borders, then, are you not going to empower the border patrol to be able to look at somebody and go, "Oh, you know what --"

Tia: There's a possibility you might be here illegally or crossing in.

Bill: A greater possibility.

Ken: Has anyone spent time with the border patrol here, besides myself?

[ All talking at once ]

You know what this really boils down to -- you know what it really boils down to.

Bill: What's that?

Ken: It's even more ridiculous than you realize, because the border patrol will see an overloaded Ford van, like say a panel truck.
And whoops, they'll turn around and this thing is down -- the bumper is scraping.
They pull it over, and a bunch of Brown people get out, okay?
Right there from the border, a bunch of Brown people get out and that says, "Well, they're all Brown people, but maybe we hadn't ought to do that."

[ Laughter ]

That's what that says.
That's --

Todd: I thought he pulled them over because it was overloaded, not because they were Brown.

Ken: You don't get it.

Todd: No, I don't.

Ken: Sorry, I have to explain it again.
Trust me, believe me.
It's a hard -- you know what, I was down there.
I spent a week down there, did my show down there, and I spent time with a border patrol agents on a tour of duty, and we stopped the same guy three times in one night.

[ Laughter ]

I give you my word, they --
you know what happens --

Todd: They're not profiling anymore.

Ken: They are stopped, they are collected, they are taken to a detention center, where Federal Law says we have to give them juice and cookies.

[ Laughter ]

I'm serious.

Todd: That dude's just hungry.

Ken: And they ask for it, they demand it, that when a bus load is put together, we drive them to the border, right across the other side, they get out and they mumble something in a foreign language, they turn around and if you hang around the border, you can pick them up again.
It must be the cookies.

[ Laughter ]

Bill: And if you're Ricky Martin, you can pick him up many times.
We have to take a break.
We'll be right back.

[ Applause ]


Announcer: Join us tomorrow when our guests will be the ringmaster Jerry Springer, from MTV's "Loveline," Catherine McCord, actor and comedian Guy Torry and rock for life director Bryan Kemper.

[ Applause ]

Bill: All right.
Continuing our theme of race and ethnicity here tonight, I wanted to mention this, how many of you know the song "Good-bye Earl"?
It's a huge hit for the Dixie Chicks.

[ Applause ]

Obviously, we're not here in Dixie.
But it's a hit -- it's a crossover hit, as they say --
and it's actually a catchy tune.
I enjoy it myself.
And it's about two friends who kill Wanda's abusive husband --
that's Earl --
and they are saying good-bye to him and they kill him.
And now a couple of stations, more than a couple, several stations have dropped the song.
They won't play it.
They say it sends the wrong message.

Tia: Hmm.

[ Laughter ]

Todd: A country song.
Aw, too bad.

[ Laughter ]

[ Applause ]

Reno: Well, the song itself, the song itself, isn't --
I don't care if I hear it on the radio or not.
I don't listen to Dixie chicks anyway.
I listen to country music, but not Dixie chicks.
But if that were a song about a man killing a woman, the women's rights people would just flip out.
It wouldn't just be taken off the air, they would crucify him.
If it was a man singing a song about "My wife's mean to me, so I went out and hacked her up."

[ Laughter ]

Women would freak out.
All of the women's rights, Willie Nelson-looking chicks would be marching all over everybody.
Am I right?

[ Applause ]

Tia: It's funny.
We're making light of it, but it's a form of censorship.
I mean, you have rap songs talking about killing other gangsters.

Bill: Yeah.

Tia: You have "Luka" or whatever her name is, "My name is Luka," whatever it is.
And it's artistic freedom to express yourself however.
If you don't like the song, turn the radio off.

Reno: I agree with you.

Tia: But to just categorically say, "Let's all band together and not play this song."
That's censorship.

Reno: I agree with you.
People can listen to this it.
I mean, the song is retarded as far as I'm concerned.
But go ahead and listen to it.

[ Applause ]

Tia: Well, whether it's your cup of tea or not, I think they have the freedom to put it on the air.

Todd: I find most of country so concertedly simple-minded, I don't know how anybody can take any of it seriously.

[ Applause ]

It's the exact opposite of the blues.
Blues is sincere music.
Country music is the most insincere music made.
It's like they sit down --

[ All talking at once ]

-- Really expose anything we feel.

Ken: How come country isn't white blues?

Todd: What's that?

Ken: How come country isn't white blues?

Reno: It is white blues.

Tia: That's the question, why isn't it?

Todd: It is.

Todd: I don't know why it's not white blues.
It could have something to do with the people who play it.

Ken: You opened that up.
You said blues is more legitimate than country.

Todd: Blues, by my estimation, doesn't come --

[ All talking at once ]

Ken: I'm just getting -- I just had an out-of-body experience.
Go on.

[ Laughter ]

Bill: The only other people who wear hats on my show our country musicians.
They always have a big hat.

Ken: That's because --

[ Laughter ]

That's because of all that African-American programming.
Forget country.
The more important issues here today is African-American death and mass murder in D.C. at the zoo.
That's what we should be talking about.
Gun control.
11-year-old kids with guns.

Reno: About country music being the white people's blues?

[ Laughter ]

[ All talking at once ]

Bill: I had an out of network experience.
Folks, you didn't change the channel --

Todd: Why don't you just change chairs here for a second.

[ Laughter ]

Bill: But I -- I grew up in New Jersey, so I mean, I didn't really grow up listening to country music, either.
It just wasn't part of our diet.
But, you know, I listen to the songs, the records, when I have a guest on the show.
I mean, it's not to my ear my favorite kind of music.
But, I don't think it's totally without merit, and I don't think it's any less valid than the blues because it's about people --

Todd: I didn't say it was without merit.
I said -- all music soothes the soul of some savage beast presumably, and is tailored to do so in many cases.
But the problem is the country has always had this idea of what is allowed to be country.
And that's what keeps it so damn white.

Tia: True.

Todd: You can't really reveal a sincere emotion, or you couldn't sincerely say you want to shoot your husband.

[ Talking over each other ]

Bill: What do you mean?
What could be more sincere than, "I'm so lonely, I broke my heart."

Todd: There is the sincere emotion.

Bill: Right, like, "I can't get no satisfaction" is poetry compared to that.

[ Applause ]

The point is all lyrics suck!
They're all stupid.

Todd: You can say all lyrics suck, but you can't necessarily say all lyrics contribute nothing at all to your understanding of the person singing.
That's the problem with country music.
It's so much the same, most of it because it's an industry.
A lot of people who sing the songs don't write the songs.
They're written by professional song writers, produced by professional producers for professional stars.

Bill: As a professional talk show host, I have to take a commercial.

[ Applause ]


[ Cheers and applause ]

Bill: All right.
Who's the greatest country music singer --

Todd: The greatest country singer of all time is Ray Charles.

Bill: Ray Charles.
I love that he said that.
All right.
Jerry Springer tomorrow, with Catherine McCord from MTV, Guy Torry and Bryan Kemper.

Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher


Executive Producers
Bill Maher
Nancy Geller
Douglas M. Wilson

Co-Executive Producer
Kevin Hamburger

Executive Consultant
Marilyn Wilson

Created By
Bill Maher

Directed By
Michael Dimich

Writing Supervised By
Chris Kelly

Kevin Bleyer
Brian Jacobsmeyer
Bill Kelley
Bill Maher
Billy Martin
Ned Rice
Danny Vermont
Douglas M. Wilson

Coordinating Producer
Joy Dolce Associate

Sheila Griffiths
Dean E. Johnsen

Associate Director
Bob Staley Stage
Manager Patrick Whitney

Executive in Charge of Production
John Fisher Executive

Brad Grey
Bernie Brillstein
Marc Gurvitz

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