Last night, during the Internet-only “Overtime” segment on Real Time, host Bill Maher and guest Michael Moore began talking about their documentaries. Maher, of course, made the anti-faith film Religulous, while Moore has made several films promoting his liberal views.
Moore urged Maher to get back into the documentary game, but the host shrugged him off, saying he wasn’t interested in other documentaries because religion was the only topic he really cared about and he already made that movie.
But it led to an amusing exchange in which the two of them discussed an idea they had obviously bounced around before: A film featuring four atheist stand-up comedians as they tour through the Bible Belt.
The exchange begins at the 3:09 mark:
MAHER: You and I want to do a movie.
MOORE: We shouldn’t… are we still live on the internet right now?
MAHER: We’re still live. I mean, it doesn’t matter because we can’t get this thing going.
MOORE: … The truth is, folks, Bill and I, we do have a secret plan.
MAHER: Yeah, we do.
MOORE: We’ve not discussed it publicly.
MAHER: We want to do a movie called The Kings of Atheism.
MOORE: Okay, there, it’s out.
MAHER: There, it’s out. Oh, what’s the worst that could happen? That we get it made? As opposed to now, when we’re not?
MOORE: No, but you just told the Almighty that we’re gonna do this, and now…
MAHER: — We’re not gonna do this —
MOORE: … you and I have to survive the next six months.
MAHER: … Remember The Kings of Comedy?… The Kings of Atheism!
MOORE: The Kings of Atheism.
MAHER: And we can’t get anybody we want to sign up for the movie.
MOORE: We are going to have four of America’s top comedians, I’m going to film it, and we’re gonna travel through the Bible Belt, putting on these shows.
MAHER: It would be so awesome!… The first person I wanted to do it was my fellow atheist and boyfriend Seth MacFarlane. I can’t get him to commit! [To crowd] Maybe you people could… If we got Ricky Gervais, me, Sarah Silverman, Seth MacFarlane, that would be an amazing…
MOORE: … And others will come out, too. Listen, Bill, this is a movement that you, actually, are responsible for. You’re the most public person who, for the last decade or so, has been at the forefront of questioning this. And you did it when it was not popular…
MAHER: … But the great thing about you directing it is that you’re not an atheist.
MOORE: Yes, well, that’s where the humor will come in… I will ride the bus with the comedians — you and your atheist friends — and you will have ten days to convert me to your debauchery.
Two hours of faith-based humor from that group of people? I would snatch up tickets in a heartbeat.
Hell, I’d rent out a theater on a Sunday morning and invite you all to join me.
I’m most amused by the idea that this is something they’ve clearly discussed beforehand and tried to get off the ground, to no avail. I wonder what the holdup is. A scheduling conflict? Someone afraid of being pigeonholed as an “atheist comic”? Some people being “too good” for that group?
There’s no way this wouldn’t work. And I need something to cleanse my movie-watching palate after God’s Not Dead 2.