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Political humorist Bill Maher is less soapboxy than predecessor George Carlin and more caustic than TV peers Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher, he dispatches bullshit in accusatory tones, but his boyish grin and jolly eyebrows send a "well, I don't really know either" message, a concession that distinguishes him from the army of media pundits who pretend to have answers. Ultimately too brash for network TV--ABC canned his Politically Incorrect after he disagreed with Bush that the 9/11 terrorists were "cowardly"--Maher fully exploits HBO's relaxed approach to censorship. On the show, he finished one quip about the government's weaselly explanations for rising gas prices by pricking organized religion: "If I want to be dicked around, exploited, and have my intelligence insulted, I'll go to church." Sat 6/24, 8 PM, Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont, 847-671-5100 or 312-559-1212, $42.50-$55.

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