Bill Maher and Joe Rogan agreed on at least one thing during the Real Time host’s latest visit to Rogan’s hugely popular podcast. They both seemed to concur that Joe Biden is a lackluster president, might be “mentally compromised,” and his years-old business dealing with his son Hunter looks rather shady.
But when Rogan tried to portray Biden’s trustworthiness as on par with former president and current GOP primary frontrunner Donald Trump, Maher pushed back hard — something Rogan’s fans say the Spotify podcast king’s guests rarely seem comfortable doing nowadays, particularly other comics who hugely benefit from appearing on his show.
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Here’s a slightly edited rundown of their debate on this topic, which was from Saturday’s episode of The Joe Rogan Experience (there’s also a video clip with some of this exchange below).
“My biggest issue is [Biden] lies a lot,” Rogan said.
“Well, certainly not more than Trump,” Maher countered.
“They both lie. I don’t think comparing [Biden] to Trump does anybody any good.”
“They’re running against each other, so it’s necessary,” Maher shoots back.
“… He’s mentally compromised…”
“As if the other guy isn’t!”
“[Trump] speaks much clearer,” Rogan replied. “He might be crazy. He might be a sociopath. It still doesn’t take away from the fact there’s something wrong with Biden. He makes up words. He stumbles through things. He doesn’t seem to know where he is half the time. That’s my problem with him.”
“We’re living in a world where ‘perfect’ is not on the menu,” Maher said. “These are the choices…”
The two then had some back and forth about which candidate seemed healthier, with Maher acknowledging Trump “looks and sounds a lot more hearty and robust. He’s a city roach. The worse things he eats the stronger he gets. You cannot kill him.”
“He’s also the only [president] who didn’t noticeably age,” Rogan pointed out.
“No, we did,” Maher countered, drawing laughter from Rogan. “But he’s a criminal and he’s crazy and he’s stupid. And crazy and stupid are two different things … Stupid is ‘Frederick Douglass is alive’ or ‘The stealth bomber is literally invisible.’ Crazy is ‘It’s important that the crowd at my inauguration was the biggest ever, and I’m going to make an issue of this for the first two weeks of my presidency despite photographic evidence of the contrary.’ Or ‘I’m going to steal these documents, and I’m going put them next to the toilet at Mar-a-Lago, and I’m going to fight you to take them back.’ Or ‘I’m not conceding the election.’ Those are crazy. … He’s also a criminal.”
At this point, they begin discussing Trump’s 91 criminal charges, including some that Rogan seemed unaware of — such as Trump being accused of secretly organizing a fake slate of electors in seven battleground states to falsely sign certificates saying he won the election (while simultaneously accusing Biden of stealing the election instead).
“He tried every possible way of stealing this election,” Maher pressed. “He tried to do it through the courts. He tried to do it through the legislators. He tried to do it through intimidating Mike Pence. He tried to do it through the Justice Department. They talked about seizing voting machines! They talked about using the Army! You can’t really believe this guy is not worse than Joe Biden. I agree — Joe Biden is not a great president. And the Hunter Biden stuff is a stinky scandal that stinks to the high heaven. But if you think that it compares to what Trump tried to do, then you just cannot tell unlike things apart.”
“Do you think [Trump] really believes they stole the election?” Rogan wondered. “Or do you think he’s bullshitting?”
“Who gives a fuck?” Maher retorted. “It doesn’t matter. … All the people around him told him he lost. And one of his quotes they have on record was, ‘I don’t want people to know I lost this election.'”
“That’s kinda crazy,” Rogan admitted.
“He’s a clinical case of malignant narcissism,” Maher added. “It’s not a quirk. It’s actually in the big book of crazy. It affects everything he thinks and does. It’s why [authoritarian leaders] were able to curry favor from him — they kiss his ass and got whatever they wanted. I think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin had him as soon as he said, ‘I think Trump is a brilliant man.’ [Trump’s] a dangerous guy. Again, Biden is not my first choice — not my hundredth choice — but the other guy is a crazy, stupid criminal.”
Best of The Hollywood Reporter