Though he's (thankfully) not above some spot-on parody of the religion's own intellectual shortcomings, Late Show king Stephen Colbert still considers himself a practicing Catholic. Bill Maher, fellow purveyor of late-night laughs, was also raised Catholic but quickly experienced what can perhaps best be described as an intellectual awakening. So, when these two apparent opposites are tossed into the throes of a religious debate for the entire CBS audience to consume, what exactly happens?
"I do admit that there are things in the universe I don't understand, but my response to that isn't to make up silly stories," Maher tells Colbert. Well put, Bill. The comedian in each of these dudes eventually takes center stage, allowing the briefly heated debate to evolve into a metaphorical discussion about Italian dining and less-than-welcoming dinner party invitations.
Maher, of course, made his thoughts on religion a focal point of his career with the 2008 documentary Religulous. Earlier this year, Maher and Religulous director Larry Charles teased the possibility of a sequel, though no confirmation has made its way into reality in the months since. As for the current status of religion in America? Recent studies show a profound decrease in the number of Americans, particularly millennials, claiming religion as important to their daily lives.