Bill Maher Cites Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani as ‘Symbol of Reconciliation’ After 2020 Election [Watch]
Liberal talk show host Bill Maher unexpectedly centered part of his show on Friday night (Nov. 6) around the recent engagement of Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, holding the couple up as a "symbol of reconciliation between red and blue America" after an unusually bitter and contentious presidential election in 2020.
The avidly left-wing comedian and host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher referenced unsubstantiated tabloid rumors in his show-closing segment on Friday night. According to Mediaite, the National Enquirer recently reported that Stefani and Shelton disagreed in their political views, claiming, "the weeks leading up to the election could rip these two apart" due to supposed differences over her liberal leanings and his allegedly more conservative bent.
Saying he "could have predicted" that, Maher joked, "Just the fact that they're together is almost Shakespearean — Rodeo & Juliet. But they make it work, because they see each other as more than just who they voted for ... they see the world differently and they love each other. What a concept. I'd like to try it in America, because that's how I feel about my country."
Maher has often said he enjoys performing comedy shows in conservative states.
"I don't want to live in a country without the red states. I like traveling there," he reiterated Friday. "When people talk to you in Oklahoma, they're not scanning the room to see if there's someone more important ... Also, they laugh like nobody's watching. They don't have a non-dairy, gluten-free, hypoallergenic stick up their ass. Even the pro-lifers will laugh at a good dead baby joke. Look, I'm pro-choice. But I also get it that fetus is irrefutably becoming a human life, so can I see why some people think you are the one who's actually deplorable? Yes, I can. So let's all stop doing that. Let's all stop seeing each other as deplorable."
Maher went on to quote a recent speech from Joe Biden in which he said, "We have to stop treating our opponents as enemies." Showing a picture of a beaming Shelton and Stefani together, he said, "Look at this guy. Do you think he's a racist? I don't. And I don't think Gwen Stefani would marry one."
"One out of ten Trump voters voted for Obama. I doubt that Blake Shelton was one of them, but that's OK! We don't all see the world the same way! Get over it!" Maher continued. "During the campaign, there was a lot of talk about who can unite us. No president can unite us! We have to unite ourselves."
Saying Americans need a symbol of unity now more than ever, Maher comically addressed the couple directly.
"And that is why I say, for the sake of the nation: Gwen, Blake ... you have to make this work ... get married, do it quickly and make it stick forever. No pressure," he added with an offhand wave.
The National Enquirer's story about Shelton and Stefani's alleged political differences cited unnamed sourcing and has not been substantiated. The couple have not commented on the 2020 election. Stefani previously hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama at her Beverly Hills home in 2012, according to ABC News.
Shelton tweeted, "I don't do politics no matter WHAT you've read about me and how it's been spun" in 2017, after facing backlash via Twitter when a story surfaced that he'd been seen with then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. The Voice coach clarified that he ran into Ryan at random at a restaurant and "said hello and took pictures (like I would try to do with anyone I meet who asks)."
Shelton and Stefani spent the coronavirus quarantine together with her kids at Shelton's ranch in Oklahoma, and they recently moved into their new home in California in time for the new school year. They announced their engagement on Oct. 27.
Multiple networks and media outlets called the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden on Saturday morning (Nov. 7) after it became apparent he had won in Pennsylvania and Nevada, putting him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win. The election results have not been certified yet, and incumbent President Donald Trump is challenging the results of the election with lawsuits and calls for recounts in multiple states. Trump said the election is "far from over" in a statement Saturday, the Associated Press reports.