Years ago, when he still had his ABC show, Politically Incorrect, I observed that Maher had two pet peeves, Christian morality and feminism. This struck me as not coincidental, as both of these belief systems would tend to interfere with what was transparently the chief object of Maher’s existence: Getting laid.

After I’d moved to Washington, I became acquainted with someone who had frequently been a guest on Maher’s show. When I shared my supposition about the basis of Maher’s political fixations, my friend nodded eagerly and said: “Bill Maher’s idea of a romantic evening is doing coke with hookers at Sky Bar.”