Premiered April 5, 1989
Controversial comedian Bill Maher was known as the driving force behind edgy panel discussion shows "Politically Incorrect" (Comedy Central, 1993-96; ABC 1997-2002) and "Real Time with Bill Maher" (HBO, 2003- ). He eventually developed into one of the top political comedians of the 1990s and beyond, bringing the much-needed format of open political debate and a wide array of viewpoints to the TV airwaves. The comedian's personal approach - broaching taboo subjects or critiquing long-revered institutions - however, was the center of the proceedings, with Maher seemingly offending viewers, networks, policymakers and advertisers at every turn. For all the outcry surrounding his controversial points of view, Maher did instigate valuable debates on such critical topics as the war in Iraq and the Bush administration - and through his show, as well as stand-up specials and humorous books, helped present the issues of the day in a digestible format for the masses.