Nasty Feud Between Let’s Make a Deal’s Wayne Brady and Bill Maher Heats Up!

The war of words between political comedian Bill Maher and Let's Make a Deal host Wayne Brady has been the talk of the blogosphere for the past few days. Apparently the squabble started when Maher took a dig at President Barack Obama's blackness—or in Maher's opinion, lack thereof—by comparing the POTUS to Brady on his HBO series Real Time With Bill Maher.

 A fed up Brady went on The Talk co-host Aisha Tyler's Girl on Guy podcast and proceeded to blast off on Maher. Said Brady in response to Maher referring to Obama as "your Wayne Brady:

"Just because you f*** black hookers, just because you had that particular black experience… I have to stop myself to getting into it because I realize the thing is if I had gone on his show, or even doing it online, I'm not going to win. Because as soon as you back off, he still has his platform to say whatever he wants to."

Brady went on to say he would "gladly slap the s*** out of Bill Maher in front of Coco and Ebony and Fox, the three ladies of the night he has hired."

I guess I am a bit puzzled as to how Maher feels Obama could better convey his blackness. Should he do the Harlem Shuffle at the beginning of State of the Union address, like the kids in the opening credits of The Cosby Show? Or maybe Maher wants him to slap the taste out of some foreign dictator's mouth when he catches him talkin' greasy about the U.S.?

 In the words of the late Rodney King, can't we all just get along?

Photos by PR Photos

25 Responses

  1. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Maher is just being Maher. He’s been saying it since the midterms. Actually, at the mid-term election time, Bill Maher did a better job going out and trumpeting the President’s accomplishments in his first two years on the job than Barack Obama was himself. Bill was always saying, “Why isn’t the President going out and talking about all the good he has done?” He’s saying President Obama is being too meek and mild-mannered (ie. a white guy, which in itself is also pretty insulting to white guys). He’s just doing it in his usual outrageous Bill Maher way.

    As for Wayne Brady, he’s just making a big deal of it in an effort to promote his lame ABC summer series, Trust Us With Your Life. If this kind of comparison REALLY bothered him, he wouldn’t have made fun of this image he has on Chappelle’s Show. He knows what people say about him. His sudden outrage on the eve of a new show is pretty transparent. Knowing Maher, he’s just going to put Brady on “ignore” (unless Bill has something to promote himself). ;-)

  2. Profile photo of Jon

    I don’t give a rat’s ass about either of these people, but at least Bill Maher can make me laugh once in a while. Wayne Brady has no presence in my life….except when he “hosted” the Daytime Emmys.

  3. Profile photo of josser


    I disagree. What Maher is saying is offensive. Brady has every right to be outraged by Maher. Maher is playing on some stereotypes of what it means to be black. It’s gross and intellectually lazy.

  4. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    I didn’t say anything different, josstheguy. I didn’t address the offensiveness of what he said, I think that’s a given. That’s also his job. What I am cynical about is that Brady is choosing to be outraged right now, when he has something to promote. People have been saying the same thing about Wayne Brady for YEARS, and NOW he’s deciding to be outraged. As the Church Lady used to say…how conVEEEEENient.

  5. Profile photo of thecourt99

    i have no clue what crawled up Wayne Brady’s ass. Wayne Brady knows what his perception is amongst many black people. As stated above, that is why he did Dave Chappelle. Why be so sensitive now?

  6. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    So, what is the time limit on when someone can be offended or feel that someone else has crossed a line? Or how about the boundaries between when one can be self-deprecating on one hand and letting someone else freely insult them on the other? I just want to make a note of it so I know the statute of limitations.

  7. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    There’s no statute of limitations, of course. Do you not see the opportunism of Wayne Brady choosing the day before his new show premieres to try to get some media attention?

  8. Profile photo of angrierblackerman

    I’m sure Wayne Brady has been just tolerating all this crap for years…this probably pushed him over the edge. And Bill Maher is working strictly from a standpoint of negative racial stereotypes…that is racist in my book. What if someone said that Bill Maher wasn’t acting ‘Jewish Enough’? There would be even more outrage.

  9. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    If you think Bill Maher doesn’t make Jewish jokes, you’re not watching Bill Maher.

    I don’t know what Maher said that pushed Brady over the edge THIS time, compared to all the other times he’s been insulted by numerous people. He could have easily said Urkel. (Of course, Jaleel White is looking pretty firm these days, so maybe Maher didn’t want to chance that.)

  10. Profile photo of cubsgirl

    I am with TV Gord on this. Bill Maher is very blunt on his HBO show and will say things to get a reaction. That is what the audience of his show expect when they watch. I watch his show every week and every week there will be at least one time where you say to yourself “Maybe he went too far”.

    I don’t recall this joke in particular but I am sure it was in one of his New Rules monologue that it was one point in an overall rant. I know Maher has been one supporting Obama but has been disappointed that he is trying too hard to be buddy-buddy with Republicans who are going above and beyond to destroy him. He has been making this point for a while. Agree that he shouldn’t have used race in the analogy, because the overall point was more about being tougher with those who are set against defeating him.

  11. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    Although it makes me squirm, I have no problem with Maher’s use of race, religion, ethinicity, sexuality, or whatever to make his jokes. That’s always been Bill and when it does work, it’s funny, but it doesn’t always work (cue: many moments of awkward silence from his various audiences), but that’s his thing, his identity…when it comes to his comedy.

    But Bill gets serious, too, and when he’s serious, the context shifts. He’s not just Bill Maher The Comedian, he’s Bill Maher the Political Agitator & Agent Provocateur. As such, one of the most insulting things he does is what many, many people do who have friends that are “other”: he uses his personal circle to attempt to counteract, dismiss or delegitimize what other “others” are saying. For example, if the a poll comes out and says that the majority of Black people plan to vote for Barack Obama for re-election, Bill will say something like “Well, I have Black friends and my Black friends are going to stay home because they are so disappointed in what Obama hasn’t done.” That may be true of Maher’s friends and even large numbers of Black people, but he often uses it as a form of delegitimization. You can easily substitute any group here and how most of us do it from time to time or see how others use it to see this in action.

    It’s all about context. And that brings me back to Wayne Brady.

    I have no doubt that Wayne Brady might be seizing the moment to gin up a little publicity for the new ABC show, which is thoroughly awful. Doing it via Aisha Tyler’s usually boring “Girl on Guy” podcast isn’t necessarily the most effective outlet to do it, but — hey — at least somebody is talking about it, including us. But even if that is the case, I don’t see how it negates his right to actually be insulted by what Maher said. Just because he’s poked fun at his own reputation doesn’t mean that someone can’t be insulting to it and him.

    I think it is fair to “allow” Mr. Brady to genuinely feel insulted, because it’s not just about his reputation (which I don’t think would be that big of a deal to him) but also linked to a President it (appears) Mr. Brady supports.

    To look at it another way, if you joke that your mama could be a mean woman sometimes and you get a good laugh out of it, that doesn’t grant carte blanche to some random person to just call your mama a raging bitch without the possibility of getting popped in the mouth.

    Anyway, even if Wayne’s going off is conveniently timed to get some sort of buzz around him and that stupid ass show, I ain’t mad at him. He’s a long-time professional and a fairly savvy show business performer. That Maher might have unwittingly gave him an opening is on Maher. But that doesn’t mean that Brady isn’t genuinely ticked off or that he doesn’t have a “right” to be so, either.


  12. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Again, I don’t disagree with what you write, J. Bernard. I just have a different “take” on how much to dismiss Brady’s sudden and convenient outrage.

    And I do believe Brady supports the President. So does Maher (he gave him a million dollars, after all). Maher is just disappointed by how much he has given in to the Republicans, and he chose a typically Bill Maher way to do it.

    Frankly, I think bringing Wayne Brady into it at all is obscuring the real offensiveness of what Bill is saying, that a black man has to behave more like Suge Knight. But then again, Morgan Freeman says Barack Obama isn’t even black, so perhaps that takes the wind out of Maher’s sails.

    In the end, Maher is a comedian. It’s what he does. Brady is a comedian, too, so he knows this. I just find his outrage to be disingenuous on a couple of levels. And is Wayne REALLY all that outraged? After all, he got his own licks in (saying Bill frequents “black hookers” with stereotypical names; threatening to “slap the shit” out of him).

    It’s all just comedy until somebody loses their perspective.

  13. Profile photo of angrierblackerman

    [quote=TV Gord]If you think Bill Maher doesn’t make Jewish jokes, you’re not watching Bill Maher.[/quote]I don’t mean Bill making the jokes about himself(he is not technically Jewish anyway), I mean the outrage that would ensue if someone said that he wasn’t acting Jewish enough. Anti-Defamation groups would publicly hang whoever made such a statement.

    I get your point though. You think this is ‘selective outrage’ on the part of Wayne Brady.

  14. Profile photo of Dariclone

    I’m with Wayne on this. Who is Bil Maher to say how “black” eithier Wayne or The President are? Does he expect people to go around acting like stereotypes? And it’s just about *Bill Maher* pushing Wayne’s buttons, when you’re constantly being discriminated against over *anything,* all the comments you pretnd not to hear just build up until over time you pop. It doesn’t matter if the thing you reacted to is the least offensive thing that’s happened to you in six months, sometimes that’s just what happens.

  15. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Actually, technically he is Jewish, because his mother was Jewish. In actuality, though, he is not Jewish, because he was raised Catholic and he didn’t know his mother was Jewish until he was a teenager (and already well on his way to becoming an asshole…which, frankly, I think should be a religion). ;-) I wasn’t referring to him making Jewish jokes as making jokes about himself. I should have been clearer. He makes jokes about everybody. White, black, Christian, Jewish, Muslim (he’s brutal to the religious of any stripe), liberal, conservative. He’s always bound to piss somebody off. And I don’t think Maher is alone, by any means. There are lots of comedians who will tell biting jokes about everyone. I think we just notice them more when they’re about US (whoever we are). (I have a Scottish relative who cringes every time Craig Ferguson says something anti-British, for example.)

  16. Profile photo of angrierblackerman

    Yeah, that’s right. I forgot it was his mom who was Jewish (I own the movie Religulous, so I should know this). In any case, if people want something to ponder, check out Youtube and Google for a man named Tim Wise. He talks about what he has termed ‘Racism 2.0′. It will make you understand why [Black] people get upset about being judged as ‘too Black’ or ‘not Black enough’.

  17. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Thanks, ABM. I’m watching him now. He must make some good points, based on all the racist remarks in the comments section on YouTube. (sigh)

    It’ll take me a while to get through this, because I’ll be watching it during the breaks on GH, GAA and TMZ Live. lol. If your goal was to get me off the internets for a couple of hours, mission accomplished! ;-)

  18. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    Frankly, I think bringing Wayne Brady into it at all is obscuring the real offensiveness of what Bill is saying, that a black man has to behave more like Suge Knight.

    Spot on — although….the initial criticisms here were about the legitimacy of Brady’s reaction, were they not?

    But then again, Morgan Freeman says Barack Obama isn’t even black, so perhaps that takes the wind out of Maher’s sails.

    I’m more concerned with how people define themselves, not how Bill Maher — or Morgan Freeman — take it upon themselves to define who other people are and how they should behave.

  19. Profile photo of acela

    Bill Maher is a piece of SHIT. This is just another turd coming from his disgusting mouth. Well, that’s Bill, after all of his putrid remarks about Republicans, especially women, now this. Oh well, maybe now Obama will give back Mahers’ million dollar campagne contribution?? NOT……

  20. Profile photo of Chelley62

    Maybe his timing is suspect but just maybe Wayne Brady is fed up and decided to make his opinion known. Just because he didn’t voice an opinion all that much before doesn’t mean he didn’t have one before nor does it make what he says now any less valid. Certainly the comments included him so why wouldn’t he speak up and respond? Bill Maher is a comedian but his comments had nothing to do with comedy. I think he hides behind comedy to be rude if people don’t say or do what he expects them to.

  21. Profile photo of

    Excellent points, TV Gord and J Bernard Jones (as usual). I agree with what you both say. I think you’re looking at the situation from different angles but coming out on the same side.

    As a black man who has been living abroad for the last six years (currently in Bangkok), I have a unique perspective on racism and stereotypes and how dangerous and far-reaching they can be. I am not very familiar with either Maher or Brady, and I don’t know the exact context of Maher’s comments, but I do know this: Even comedians whose job is to shock and occasionally outrage need to be careful what they say (see Tracy Morgan).

    I think there are ways to criticize Obama, or suggest that he should be doing things differently, and even make light of it, that don’t involve suggesting that to be black means you have to act a certain way. Even if he’s just saying that Obama should be tougher, what does being tough have to do with being black? White people aren’t assertive?

    Personally, I find it insulting, and it makes Maher sound unenlightened and, well, pretty dumb. Alas, Brady’s response — the idle threat, the stereotypically named hookers — don’t exactly push the pro-black agenda in any meaningful way. His own words are basically variations on Maher’s racism-tinged theme. (And no, I don’t think Maher is racist, but from what I can tell, his words certainly were.) If he must be outraged while seeking publicity for his new show, he could have at least done it intelligently.

  22. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @J Bernard Jones: This kind of reminds in a slight way of a scene from AMC’s 80’s storyline about Jesse’s Rape. Where Agnie’s dad was having it out with Jesse’s uncle in law.

    It is just when they had this discussion that happens in the black community that was spot on for me.

    I think the nature of blackness would be a great tale to be told on a daytime drama and if Agnes was around she would have picked up on it and wrote it.

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