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Bill Maher brings satiric edge to Borgata Saturday

Bill Maher has fresh meat.

Bill Maher has fresh meat.

Maher, who once called himself the "godfather" of political satire, doesn't get many opportunities to do stand-up comedy. So, it's a rare treat when he hits the road.

On a summer break from Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the humorist will appear Saturday night at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

"I haven't done much stand-up since I did The Decider, an HBO special, last July," Maher said. "I don't like to do the same jokes people have already seen. I like new fresh stuff. It takes a while for the world to turn."

Politicians and government are ripe targets for Maher to skewer. The economic-stimulus checks, sent out by the IRS in recent weeks, are only one of them.

"It seems that this government only knows how to pay off people, to bribe people," Maher said. "We really shouldn't be sending money out like that when we can't afford it. It's like being bought off by some bum in an alley.

"What are you going to buy with $600 in cash? You can buy cocaine, an unmarked gun - or 28 minutes with Eliot Spitzer's hooker," Maher said.

"If the U.S. Treasury were a restaurant, this administration would have pulled off the biggest dine-and-dash ever."

The high price of commodities has gotten under Maher's skin, too.

"Gas was $1.42 a gallon when Bush was first elected," Maher said. " 'Mission Accomplished' - for the oil folks!"

"The gas thing is not all [Bush's] fault. But he is an oilman and somehow it quadrupled in price while he was in office. I mean, if we had Colonel Sanders as president and the price of chicken went up three times, wouldn't you wonder?"

Maher recently finished a movie with Larry Charles, the director of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The new film, Religulous, which Maher calls an unscripted comedy about "silly and destructive" religion, is slated for an Oct. 3 release.

"We went off to the far-flung places of the world to make sure we tracked down religion as it exists in the world today," Maher said. "I think we've made a very funny movie."

Unlike Sacha Baron Cohen, the star of Borat, Maher didn't have to wrestle with a obese naked man for the cameras.

"I'm wrestling with an angel naked," Maher said. "Just like Jacob did in the Bible."

Entitlements are something politicians and religious leaders have in common, Maher said.

"But religions do it on a much grander scale," Maher said. "Politicians say your Social Security checks will always be there. Religious leaders promise eternal life. Mormons say if you have a good marriage in this life, then in the next life, you will rule over your own planet."

Religion, certainly, will be on Maher's mirthful menu at the Borgata. Of course, so is everything else.

"I'd say I leave no stone unturned: sex, drugs, politics. You name it, I cover the waterfront," Maher said. "I just hope people know when they come to see me do live standup, they'll leave with their cheeks hurting."