Photo of Bill Maher Bill Maher

Born on Jan. 20, 1956, in New York City, political comedian Bill Maher was raised in River Vale, N.J. After graduating from Cornell University in 1978, Maher pursued a comedy career in New York alongside such future stars as Jerry Seinfeld and Paul Reiser.

In the 1980s, Maher appeared often on "The Tonight Show" and accepted bit parts in movies and television. In 1993, he finally hit the big time with the Comedy Central series "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," in which the acerbic host moderated topical debates among various celebrity guests.

In 1996, the show moved to ABC, where it held its own against Jay Leno and David Letterman, but Maher's controversial comments following the 9/11 attacks led to the show's cancellation. Not long after, Maher came back strong with "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO, an hour-long weekly version of his old format.

Bill Maher in Religulous

Religulous

2008 R

Politically provocative talk show host Bill Maher skewers the current state of organized religion in this hot-button documentary, making stops in Jerusalem, the Vatican and other holy destinations.

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