As a provocateur who specializes in inflammatory improv, Bill Maher’s dedication to keeping after-the-fact records of precisely what he said and where seems idiosyncratic. His files aren’t compiled to protect him from right wing-spun outrage (remember Cowardgate?), but to protect his fans from hearing the same quip twice. Not that audiences of his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher and his live act, which detonates at the McCallum Theater this Saturday, would mind hearing Maher again expound upon how the dogs of the Iditarod are akin to slaves on the plantation, or the parallels between Ashlee Simpson and George W. Bush (“She wouldn’t even really be in the big leagues if it wasn’t for family connections, and she’s in way over her head. And she doesn’t know what to do. And she blamed her band.”)
Maher often seeds the aisles with microphones and ends his rock-‘em-sock-‘em show by letting people ask him questions. His favorite response begins with a curt “No” before spiraling off into an articulate whirlwind that, to date, has dizzied everyone except fellow rabble-rousers Bill O’ Reilly and Christopher Hitchens. If you get a chance at the mic, ask him how his tabloid-tastic dating history—highlights include porn stars, Playboy models, and the notorious Karrine “Superhead” Steffans—has influenced his political discourse beyond his penchant for calling impeachment talk “playa-hatin’.”
Bill Maher at the McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Dr.,
Palm Desert, (760) 340-ARTS; www.mccallumtheatre.com. Sat., 8 p.m. $55-$85.