by Josh Gross
Idaho may be one of the reddest states, but you wouldn't have know it in The Morrison Center on Saturday, Aug. 18.
A capacity crowd leapt to its feet, screaming, when comedian Bill Maher walked on stage, and it didn't quiet down much when audience members retook their seats a minute later.
"It is hard to get here," Maher cracked.
He then spent nearly two hours tearing apart Idaho's two chief industries—Republicans and religion—and waxing comedic about all manner of current events.
"Of course, Democrats are disappointing," he said. "That is what the D stands for, disappointment. Republicans use an R because that is the noise a pirate makes when he robs you."
But because he is disappointed in Democrats doesn't mean Maher, who contributed $1 million to President Barack Obama's campaign, is giving up on him.
"Obama is half black and half white," Maher said. "I think the first term was the white term and the second will be the black term."
Maher then encouraged the president to run with it and grow an afro. He also referred to his current performance tour as his "making back my million tour."
But the biggest laughs of the evening came when Maher went after former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig. He dropped into the infamous "wide stance" to explain that America is still so homophobic that Craig would rather claim this position was how he pooped in a public bathroom than admit he might be gay. The crowd roared for nearly a minute.
"I think I might be stuck," Maher said, trying to stand up when the bit ended.
The only awkward moment of the evening came when Maher started a bit on things Mormons believe, realizing as the words came out of his mouth how heavily Mormon Boise is, and fumbling the first sentence. But he quickly recovered and had even skeptical audience members roaring with laughter about Mormon claims on the afterlife.
As much a pep talk for sanity and potty mouths as it was a comedy show, Maher was a welcome breath of a foul air. When he finished his set, he got his second standing ovation of the evening.