Bill Maher sent a wake-up call - or rather, a wake-and-bake-up call - to cannabis aficionados across America on Feb. 12. Maher wrapped up the latest episode of Real Time with a look at cannabis legalization, which he considers a civil rights issue. And in the final seconds, he sparked controversy by lighting a joint on air:
"This is private property and I do have a card," Maher said through a cloud of smoke. "In conclusion, please remember that legalizing pot is a long way from a done deal."
Then he passed off the joint to his guests, including Killer Mike, who happily puffed away on camera.
It's not the first time that someone has lit up a joint on the show: Zach Galifianakis did it back in 2010. Or did he? In a tweet after the show, Maher said Galifianakis' joint was a dud. Here's how the twitterverse reacted to the stunt:
Some saw it as pot's coming out party:
There were calls for an encore:
dear jesus, its been awhile i know but please use your powers to convince @billmaher to end each show that way.— Matthew McClish (@mattmcclish) February 14, 2016
Others praised Maher's craftsmanship:
@billmaher that was amazing Bill. Did you roll that? Looked damn near perfect— . (@wwwhite92) February 13, 2016
Even abstainers showed support:
@billmaher Saw it. Good for you and you cool guests! I don't partake but would like those who do have it available to them legally.— The Lady of the Manor Votes Biden/Harris (@Smartypantsny) February 14, 2016
But those who do smoke criticized Maher's manners:
Some wanted more intel on the joint in question:
And that was just one of the follow-up questions:
@billmaher I've heard that Smoking pot is highly carcinogenic. Are there other ways to ingest? Do all forms cause munchies?— Janet (@SurruscoJanet) February 14, 2016
History was debated:
@billmaher i think belushi beat you to something like that on a beethoven bit he did on the original SNL.— george sears (@gsears1968) February 14, 2016
We couldn't find the Belushi sketch in question - if he did, in fact, toke on air as Beethoven. But Cypress Hill did light a joint on SNL in 1993 and were banned forever as a result.
The were the unbelievers:
But audience members said it was real:
Some think Maher's guest list got lighter:
@billmaher Okay, but I'm thinking this ain't gonna encourage an appearance by POTUS.— mark rast (@photomarkrast) February 13, 2016
But others thought Obama should put Maher in cabinet:
And in case you missed it, here's the full video. The whole segment is worth watching, but he lights the joint itself around 5:50: