Bill Maher has expanded on previous comments he made about Stan Lee and the culture of comic book fans.
Following the death of the Marvel comic icon Stan Lee last year, the Real Time host published an essay titled ‘Adulting’ in which he addressed his passing. “America is in mourning,” he wrote. “Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess.”
Maher’s blog was met with anger by many comic fans, while Lee’s production company POW! Entertainment slammed the talk show host’s comments as “frankly disgusting”.
The host later elaborated, saying: “I am agnostic on Stan Lee. I don’t read comic books. I didn’t even read them when I was a child. What I was saying is, a culture that thinks that comic books and comic book movies are profound meditations on the human condition is a dumb fucking culture.
“And for people to get mad at that just proves my point.”
Now, the host has caused further upset by responding again on Real Time over the weekend.
“To every person on social media who’s asked me since November, ‘Bill, what do you have to say about Stan Lee?’ – and to every paparazzi outside a restaurant who’s still shouting at me, ‘Bill, what about the Stan Lee thing?’ Okay. Your day has come,” said Maher.
He continued: “You can, if you want, like the exact same things you liked when you were 10, but if you do, you need to grow up. That was the point of my blog. I’m not glad Stan Lee is dead, I’m sad you’re alive.”
Then, he directed his anger at the writer, director and huge Stan Lee fan Kevin Smith and his dress sense.
“By the way, if someone says you’re being childish and you react by throwing a tantrum, you’re not Iron Man — you’re Irony Man,” said Maher. “My shot wasn’t at Stan Lee. It was at, you know, grown men who still dress like kids.”
Responding the the fans that said they “learned about social justice and racial intolerance by reading comic books”, he replied: “Okay, but now you have pubic hair. Read James Baldwin, read Toni Morrison, read Michael Eric Dyson.”
Yes, @billmaher took a shot at me during his show last night, in the midst of his latest rant about @TheRealStanLee and adults who like comic books. No, I’m not mad at all. Bill may talk tough but he’s a stoner like me and a real pussycat when confronted: https://t.co/LRNdNeI2vr pic.twitter.com/VEf3fYi3b4
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) January 26, 2019
Smith himself then responded, Tweeting: “Yes, Bill Maher took a shot at me during his show last night, in the midst of his latest rant about Stan Lee and adults who like comic books. No, I’m not mad at all. Bill may talk tough but he’s a stoner like me and a real pussycat when confronted.”
Last year, Smith went as far to invite Lee to come and live with him in his final months, as concern continued to grow around the 95-year-old’s care and wellbeing.