INTERVIEW: Controversial Comedian Bill Maher

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90.3 WBHM Birmingham– For his decades-long career, comedian and commentator Bill Maher has skewered cherished customs and beliefs. Whether on his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” in his documentary film “Religulous,” or doing stand-up, he doesn’t shy away from controversy. Politics, drugs, faith — nothing is sacred. He’ll be performing in Birmingham this Sunday, but WBHM’s Dan Carsen caught up with him first. It’s a serious conversation, but it starts out on a light note, and ranges far and wide from there. The on-air five-minute version is above. An extended web-only 18-minute version is below.

Subject and time pegs for the extended interview are below:

0:23 — The theological question of whether the Devil is in charge of the Anti-Christ, or vice-versa.

1:04 — Is Bill Maher preaching to the (secular) choir?

1:45 — Most Democrats are believers, too.

2:15 — The question of safety from fundamentalist extremists.

3:02 — Carsen asks whether Maher can see the good religion can do.

3:51 — Maher objects to the question of whether he’s an atheist or an agnostic.

4:44 — “The Gospel of ‘I Don’t Know.'”

5:15 — “We used to believe in Zeus and Thor…”

5:28 — Carsen asks Maher why he’s so anti-religion.

5:49 — “9-11 was a faith-based initiative.”

7:03 — Carsen asks Maher about his role models.

8:02 — A decades-old quote from Maher on why he won’t run for office.

9:54 — Maher’s thoughts on future elections.

10:00 — Carsen asks about creative freedom at HBO.

10:50 — “9-11 changed everything, made people a little crazy.”

12:25 — Maher’s opinions on teaching religion in public schools as history or sociology.

14:15 — If Maher were king, he/we would address climate change and punish polluters with jail time.

15:05 — Carsen asks Maher if he smokes marijuana — which Maher believes should be legal — before shows.

16:53 — What to expect at Maher’s show at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex on Sunday.