Dennis Miller hits Atlantic City this weekend with Bill O’Reilly.
Dennis Miller, bubbie. Say what you will about the standup comic and former Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" anchor turned right-leaning radio talk host—pioneer of feathered locks, Undisputed Champion of the Irrepressible Smirk, once great comic mind now sadly clinging like a barnacle to the ballsack of the SS Bill O’Reilly—but the guy has accomplished something that eludes many in entertainment: a steady gig in the public eye for a quarter century. Roomfuls of people plop down hard earned money to hear his thoughts, and have consistently for a long, long while.
Miller has now added witty, light-hearted segments on The O’Reilly Factor to his repertoire, the two trading quips about the days hot topics in between mild insults from O’Reilly and a gaggle of patented over-the-head references from Miller. Now they’ve turned the segment into a show, The Bolder Fresher Tour. It works like this: Miller comes out, does 35 minutes of standup. O’Reilly follows with humorous anecdotes. Then the two come out together to finish it all off. Miller says, “I tried to convince Bill we should sing ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ as a closer, but …”
Sound like something you’d be into? Of course not! But we chatted with Miller about what’s what anyway.
You’re friends with Bill, obviously, and we’re assuming you know and worked with Al Franken on SNL. Do you ever think of bringing those two together for a summit or a peaceful meeting of the minds of some sort?
Fuck a summit, I’d make it a Pay-Per-View battle! I’m talking about a cage match. Fuck a debate.
What can Bill learn from Al and vice-versa?
Let me see. Al’s angrier than Bill. Bill’s pretty mellow. I love Al. He’s a good friend, but when his fuse gets lit, he gets [Nancy] Pelosi-eyes. I know that goes against type, and people would say, “Really?” But yeah, Al would get freaky on ya. And, uh, Bill—a little more measured. I don’t know. And maybe—I think Bill is older than Al—and maybe you learn more lessons as you get older. But Bill’s got a fuse; it’s just a little further down the road than Al’s.
So Al could maybe learn patience from Bill?
Well, I would say that, you know, O’Reilly is more open-minded on issues. All I could tell you is that O’Reilly is anti-death penalty. He’s willing to pay some more of his taxes. You know people who hate O’Reilly don’t watch him. I can’t tell you how many people say, “How can you work with O’Reilly?” And I go, “Have you seen us on the show together?” And they go, “I never watch the show.” I’ve even heard Rachel Maddow say, “I don’t watch Fox. I hate Fox.” And I think, “That’s an uncurious mind.” You have to start ruling voices out in your life as you get older. You’ve got filters set up. And one of my filters is when somebody says they either love something or hate something and then follow it up with “I’ve never seen it.” That’s an easy voice for me to weed out.
Here’s a recent quote from you: “I’ll vote for anyone that goes up against Barack Obama, except Joe Biden.” What has Obama gotten wrong? What has he gotten right?
I don’t find any problem, personally, with Barack Obama. He seems like a fine man. I just think the country seems hangdog right now. You know, Reagan seemed happy about the gig. Clinton? All he wanted was a cheeseburger, some head and to be the president: He was happy. [Obama] seems too hangdog about it. It’s just not my cup of tea. I don’t hate him—I don’t think he was born in another country and all that junk. I’m not racist. At this point, quite frankly, you know, I’m glad we have a black president. We needed a black president, and that might be the only thing he has going for him. I’m happy he’s a black president. But the day-to-day of it, he’s not doing a great job, so I’m not for him.
Speaking of black presidents—or potential black presidents—you endorsed Herman Cain a few weeks ago. What are your thoughts on the man now?
Well, they’re about the same, except he might have played slap ass. I look at these three [accusers]. Well, first off, I rule out the unnamed ones, I view them as rats in suits. Let’s see, the chick yesterday, the girl who’s been in lawsuits before, looks like Sylvia Plath’s lighting double. I mean she looks like a lawsuit ready to happen. So no, I don’t think there was anything about her that was welcoming enough that you’d go up and flirt with her. I’m sorry. I’m not even talking looks, I’m just talking vibe. Does she not look like a lawsuit in waiting? The third chick, Stiffler’s mom, yeah they might have played slap ass, I don’t know, 14 years ago. Is it the end of the world? No, but if he starts obfuscating and lying, if he gets Clintonian about it, am I off the case? Yeah, I am.
Finally, who do you think does Dennis Miller better: you or Dana Carvey?
Well Carvey does the Charlie Brown parents version of me. He’s got the iambic pentameter down. He said toward the end when he would do it in his act, he’d say, “I didn’t even say words anymore.” You can tell the words don’t matter, it’s just the rhythm. So I would say Carvey does a better me than me at this point.
Dennis Miller and Bill O’Reilly perform Sat., Nov. 26, 8pm. $95-$500. Borgata Event Center, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J. 609.317.1000. livenation.com
PW's Music Issue 2014