Bill Maher hasn’t exactly been a ray of sunshine during his time as the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. He’s referred to himself as a racial epithet in what was either a terrible case of humor gone wrong, or just another instance of outright racial insensitivity. Maher’s also compared Islam to the mafia. But Friday found Maher displaying a decidedly softer side while talking with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“You’re so together,” Maher told Marjory Stoneman students David Hogg and Cameron Kasky during a Friday appearance on Real Time. “All of you—not just you—the other people from your school I’ve seen on TV. You’re calm, articulate… I honestly thought kids were a lot stupider. You have actually given me faith that the kids today are very bright.”
The exchange, which appears in the video above at the 2:55-mark, found the two students and gun reform activists deadpanning that they only appeared so composed because “they locked up the Tide pods.” Both Hogg and Kasky have been at the forefront of the March for our Lives movement after classmate Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured multiple others during a February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman. Cruz committed the shootings using an AR-15 assault rifle that he was able to legally purchase.
In the weeks following the shooting, Hogg, Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, and other students have led verbal takedowns and activism efforts targeting the National Rifle Association, Donald Trump, and other politicians who pocket millions from NRA lobbyists and then advocate for lax gun laws. The NRA reportedly spent $20 million on Hillary Clinton attack ads while donating $11 million towards Trump’s election fund during the 2016 election cycle. Trump has offered some seemingly ineffective solutions toward curbing future gun violence.
You can learn more about the March for our Lives movement at marchforourlives.com.