New Rules: January 17, 2014

New Rule: If we have to have hillbillies on TV—[slide of “Duck Dynasty” family]—how about we bring back these hillbillies? [slide of “Beverly Hillbillies”]

At least Jed Clampett wasn’t comparing gay sex to fucking a possum. [laughter] And if you’re that taken with a bunch of backwards, religious cranks with long beards issuing ridiculous pronouncements, move to Iran. They’ve got tons of them there.

New Rule: Amid his troubles, we must all at least give Chris Christie credit for this. [slide of Christie with some of his staff] He said he wanted to drop 115 unwanted pounds. And he did. [one of the staff in slide disappears] 

New Rule: If I see you buying a brand of coffee named “Magnum Exotics,” I must assume that you like to take it black. 

New Rule: [slide of “Lone Survivor” poster] Don’t give away the ending of your movie in the title. Tell people these things.

New Rule: Now that a man in Florida was shot for texting during a movie, theaters must show this PSA. [series of slides as Maher reads] “Remember, no talking during the movie. Please turn off your cellphones. And if you must shoot another patron, please be courteous and use a silencer. Now, enjoy the show!” 

New Rule: Instead of the Winter Olympics having both the luge, where people ride down the ice feet first, and the skeleton, where people ride down the ice face first, they must be merged into one event called “Sledding 69.”

And finally, New Rule: It’s great to be back! Thank you for welcoming us back for another year! We appreciate you having us in your home. And, as we start a new year, let’s start a new tradition, a good tradition to replace one of our stupid traditions. Like the Electoral College or the drug war. 

Let’s make it a tradition that just as individuals make New Year’s resolutions, so should America! 

Okay, so here they are. Our first New Year’s resolution as a nation should be one familiar to individuals as well. And that is to improve a key relationship in our lives. You know how they say if you love something, set it free and see if it comes back? Let’s try that with Afghanistan.

Talk about a bad relationship. This has been like dating a girl for 13 years who tries to kill you every day. 

MATALIN:  That works.

MAHER:  And if breaking up with Afghanistan works, we could see if the absence of American military bases in Germany and Okinawa makes their hearts grow fonder.

Second, America must resolve to stop doing everything late. Stop procrastinating! Do you know that our most recent Congress was the least-effective in U.S. history? We got more done in 1812, when we didn’t have email or phones and were at war with England and pirates.  No wonder the whole southern half of the country still has Christmas lights up on the porch.

On the other hand, of course – on the other hand, it’s January 17th, and I’m still doing New Year’s resolutions. But, I have a reason for being late. I was on a bridge in New Jersey and some bastard got me stuck in traffic. 

But, what is America’s excuse? Why are we always running 50 to 100 years behind the rest of the world? We were one of the last nations on earth to ban slavery, the last country to now – to adopt the metric system; the last country with a major political party still claiming global warming is a hoax.

The last among the modern countries to provide universal healthcare. One of the last to label GMO’s. One of the last to make election day a holiday. 

There are girls on “16 and Pregnant” who aren’t this consistently late. 

But, we’re not going to drop that bad habit without making another important resolution, which is to stop hanging onto stupid stuff long after it’s relevant just because it’s—[does air quotes]—“tradition.” 

We don’t need the Electoral College, or the drug war, or the penny. Or farm subsidies. Or an amendment in the Constitution about how citizens need rifles in case they have to take over the government. 

Why do we still have these things? Why do we still have capers in the fridge? 

Why am I still getting the phone book? Why do we need two Dakotas?

Why do we still have daylight savings time? [applause] It made sense when 80% of Americans were farmers and we needed the sunlight to discourage grandpa from molesting the sheep. 

But…but, now, no Americans are farmers. Monsanto just sprays a field with green goo, and a month later, Cheetohs pop out of the grounds.

And, finally…finally, a resolution I’ve been asking America to make for a long time: Be more cynical. Be less easily fooled.

Case in point: all the people who are fans of these guys. [slide of “Duck Dynasty” family] Heroes to all the rural heartland, traditional-values gun nuts out there. Except here’s what we recently found out these guys really looked like before they got their TV show! [slide of “Duck Dynasty” men clean-shaven, dressed for golf]

Preppy assholes at the golf club wearing Tommy Bahama. [laughter] That’s right, it’s all an act. Fat cats pretending to be just folks. And you fell for it.

Take a hint, Tea Partiers. This is what the Republican Party is always doing to you.