Chances are if you're watching HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" or reading one of his books, you're aware there's a good chance the political talk show host Bill Maher is going to offend you. He's an equal opportunity offender, but he's also a comedian and that's why his newest book, "The New New Rules," works.
If you're a Democrat, you may laugh at most of the Republican jokes, although he's a little brutal when discussing Governor Chris Christie's weight. If you're a Republican, you may feel vindicated to hear him talk about President Barack H. Obama. If you're African-American, he definitely has plenty of jokes about the WASP population, but he also marinates in stereotypes about black people.
If you're a woman, you'll probably cheer him on for calling out male arrogance when it comes to dating and text messages. If you're a single man — especially a man who doesn't care for Sarah Palin — there are plenty of jokes about women and relationships. One of his best quips was that men should be able to watch a movie called "Football Jerk Off Nap" if they were forced to sit through "Eat Pray Love." I really enjoyed his gripe with food orgasm commercials, and his warning to women that it's humiliating to accidentally call your man Willy Wonka in bed.
The Sarah Palin supporters will probably fume about his opinions on the former Alaskan governor. Muslims definitely won't crack a grin at his take on their religion, while devout Christians and Catholics will be just as annoyed with him. The fast food industry probably thinks him a thorn in their side as well.
But he's hilarious. When he didn't make me want to close the book or sigh about how inappropriate his "new rules" are, I was in tears cracking up about his take on things I was guilty of. He doesn't take too kindly to people who have a bunch of pillows on their bed (I currently have 18 on mine) and says, "A bed needs only two pillows. One to put my head on and one to cuddle with and pretend it's Robert Pattinson." I'm Team Jacob, but that is funny anyway.
He pokes fun at Blackberry lights, sex addiction, celebrities such as Britney Spears and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the Kardashians, fake bullet hole car decals, "Dancing with the Stars," "Toy Story 3," plastic sandals, psychedelic screensavers and anything else that randomly makes him grumpy.
Besides the comedy, what's great about this book is that in between the complaining, Maher is always on top of the latest news. While mainstream publications and stations may cover some of the information he debriefs us on, chances are he touches on something you may not have known. I didn't know about the police in Iran confiscating 65 mannequins because they looked too sexual, and never connected the NFL to the economy until reading his speech "Irritable Bowl Syndrome."
In between the jokes, the quirky complaints and the personal observation that he can be a bit hypocritical when it comes to talking about racism (he enjoys stereotypes a little too much), this was everything I wanted in a book, especially from someone who is determined to be politically incorrect.
The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass
By Bill Maher
Blue Rider Press, 368 pages, $26.95