Bill Maher Demands End of Cruise Ship Industry During Show With No Live Studio Audience Over Coronavirus Pandemic

HBO Real Time host Bill Maher made a case for ending the cruise ship industry Friday night during an unusually quiet show with no live studio audience due to coronavirus spread concerns.

Maher blasted cruise ships, which have long been referred to as a "floating petri dishes," saying that the coronavirus outbreak across the globe is the perfect time to finally "push the entire disgusting business out to sea and give it the viking funeral it so rightly deserves."

In a Real Time with Bill Maher segment entitled, "Port Reform," which aired Friday, Maher ridiculed President Donald Trump labeling it a "great and important" industry while mocking the hokey eccentricities of cruise ships and its millions of annual passengers. At least three cruise ships, including the Grand Princess, have forced had hundreds of passengers into COVID-19 quarantine in the past several weeks.

"If you hate all the things good liberals are supposed to hate -- environmental destruction, exploited labor, greed, gluttony and disease -- then you need to join me in calling for an end to cruise ships," Maher said Friday, as members of his production crew clapped and laughed in order to fill in for his lack of a studio audience.

"Cruise ships are what happened when people ask, 'what happens if my hotel could sing?'" Maher quipped.

The longtime HBO host also responded to Trump's Friday tweet just prior to the program: "At my request, effective midnight tonight, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days. It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!"

Maher went on to offer several jokes about people who smoke marijuana being unable to tell the difference between whether their cough is from the weed or the coronavirus. Including among his many "new rules" and things that can be banned in response to the pandemic, Maher woefully said "passing a joint" could be ended.

But Maher focused much of his distaste toward the cruise ship industry, joking that viruses themselves are able to flourish and spread freely among cruise ship passengers. "A cruise ships is like spring break, Mardi Gras and Las Vegas all rolled into one...But unlike Vegas, what happens on a cruise ship does not stay on a cruise ship. When the coronavirus started infecting all the cruise ship, all the other cruise ships were like, 'Who is the new guy?'"

Bil Maher
HBO host Bill Maher made the case for ending the cruise ship industry Friday night in an unusually quiet show with no live studio audience due to coronavirus spread concerns. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc for HBO Films