Comedian Bill Maher, in the aftermath of the dramatic midterm elections, should very much be in his element this weekend at Caesars Atlantic City.
The host of HBO's "Real Time" enjoys nothing more than mining the absurdities of the nation's political system for laughs, and mocking its most conservative players, from GOP powerbroker Sarah Palin to Kentucky Sen.-elect Rand Paul to Delaware's senatorial wannabe, Christine O'Donnell.
This fall, Maher played a part in the outcome of the latter race, when he released old video clips from his "Politically Incorrect" show of Republican candidate O'Donnell discussing her experiments with witchcraft.
The footage put O'Donnell on the defensive. She lost the election badly, and became fodder for comedians everywhere.
Maher, ahead of his latest Atlantic City gig, owns up to being a liberal and explains why the GOP gets the laugh every time.
Question: Are you glad for the relative calm after the election storm, or do you thrive on the craziness?
Answer: It's just going to get crazier, now that (Republicans are) in charge. Now that the gang of crazies and the mean girls have taken over, who knows what's going to happen?
I saw (President Barack) Obama on "60 Minutes." It wasn't that encouraging. He still doesn't understand them - they don't like him, they don't trust him, they don't think he's a real American and they rationalize destroying him as a good thing.
Q: Are you going to miss not having Christine O'Donnell to knock off her broomstick?
A: I read where she was the most covered entity of the entire midterm election, which tells you a lot about the media.
She was a fringe candidate who never had a chance of winning. You would think somebody would send me a thank-you note.
There is one silver lining. The true crazies all lost. Americans, as much as they can, drew a little bit of a line in the sand.
We're nuts - but we're not Sharron Angle nuts, we're not Carl Paladino nuts and we're not Joe Miller nuts.
Q: Speaking of extremes, are you including Sarah Palin in your act?
A: Oh yes, Sarah's always in the act. There's a point where I talk about her for a while. I go, she's such a (expletive), and that's something I can't even say on HBO.
It's such a cathartic moment, because everyone is wanting to say that. It seems cathartic because, unlike Christine O'Donnell, she is such a mean person.
Q: How does your comedy change when conservatives or liberals are in the power seat?
A: Of course, it's always better with conservatives - there's more targets. There was never anything easier than when Bush was in office. When we're on the outside, we're throwing rocks at the palace - obviously that's good for comedy.
I love playing Southern states - red states - because when liberal-thinking people come out for those shows, it's even more of a cathartic moment.
Q: Do you consider yourself a liberal or a libertarian?
A: I'm a liberal, but I'm not a Democrat. I'm a libertarian, like, I think prostitution and marijuana should be legal, but not like Rand Paul, who doesn't think we had to desegregate lunch counters - I'm not that kind of libertarian.
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20
WHERE: Circus Maximus Theater, Caesars Atlantic City
HOW MUCH: Tickets, priced at $55, $65 and $75, are available at Caesars' box office or