Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

Comedy Central
February 7, 1996
Joe Queenan  Actor/Filmaker
Kevin Nealon  Actor
Daryl Gates  Former L.A.P.D. Police Chief
Kate Mulgrew  Actress

Bill Maher:  Welcome to the show.  Let's meet our panel.  Oh, I have a book to plug here.  Sorry.  He's a writer and now movie director who's latest book is The Unkindest Cut, Joe Queenan.  Our pal, Joe, how are you?  Good to see you out here on the west coast.

He was the longest running cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live and was seen most recently on ABC's Champs, Kevin Nealon.  How are you?  Thanks for coming by.

All right.  The retired Chief of Police of the L.A.P.D. and creator of an interactive computer game called SWAT, Daryl Gates.  Good to see you.

And finally, she plays Captain Kathryn Janeway, first female captain of the starship U.S.S. Voyager on Star Trek Voyager, Mondays at eight on UPN.  Kate Mulgrew.  Captain, thank you for coming by.

(handshakes and ribbing about welcoming Captain Janeway to earth)

Here in California a couple of days ago, the assembly passes a thing saying that you could have concealed weapons now, which is a big thing in about twenty-six states.  I know Texas; its God's law down there. What this says basically, is you can have a concealed weapon on you. You don't have to show it.  I guess that was the old thing; you have a rifle showing in the back of the car.  The NRA always says an armed society is a polite society.  Isn't that what the NRA says?

Daryl Gates:  That's what they say.

Kate Mulgrew:  Caesar said that as well.

Bill Maher:  And looked what happened to him.

Kate Mulgrew:  Exactly.

Bill Maher:  He got stabbed and then an awful salad.

Joe Queenan:  I'd like to see the hardware out because when you're in a bar, you know whether or not to continue the argument about whether DiMagio or the Tory(?) brothers hit the most home runs.  If a guy doesn't have a gun out, you'll proceed.  If a guy has a gun, okay,whatever, you say, DiMagio, Tory(?), Covington, I don't care. 

Kevin Nealon:  But don't you always assume that somebody has a gun?

Kate Mulgrew:  Of course not.

Daryl Gates:  That's a good assumption because so many people have guns now and I think that's one of the feelings out there that almost anywhere you go, you're worried about somebody having a gun and holding you up.

Kate Mulgrew:  But that doesn't justify carrying a gun.

Daryl Gates:  And people want to be protected.

Kate Mulgrew:  I think if you are carrying a concealed weapon, it's motivational.  You'll use it, and you will regret it.

Joe Queenan:  Why will you regret it?

Kate Mulgrew:  I'll tell you this, in hindsight, in retrospect, you will regret it if you are a human being with any compassion.  Well, I would.

Joe Queenan:  Why in retrospect will you regret it?

Kate Mulgrew:  I was attacked once in New York, very badly, right? Really severely.  If I had had a gun, I would have blown the guy away. I am very glad I did not.

Joe Queenan: You married to the guy now or what?

Kate Mulgrew:  (laughs)  We were married, of course.  We've since divorced.

Kevin Nealon:  I don't think a right to carry law will create a polite society.  I think it will create a wise guy society.  You'll have a lot of guys walking around saying is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me.

Joe Queenan:  A wise guy society would still be a better society than this one.

Kevin Nealon:  I think they should pass a right to be happy to see me law.

Bill Maher:  But I don't agree with what you said about you assume everyone has a gun.  I never think someone has a gun, living here in California, but in Texas I would assume that.  I would not start a fight.  I wouldn't try to start a fight here, but I might.  But in Texas, I would be much more afraid.  I don't think there should be guns, but as long as there are guns - the NRA statistics and the FBI statistics on this say that any state that has this concealed weapon law, the crime statistic goes down.

Daryl Gates:  They certainly don't go up and not only that, but our problem is we have so much crime, so much violence, that people have gotten to the point where they say, hey, why can't I protect myself? Being a cop, I'm not interested in seeing more guns on the street.  I'm really not.  But I will tell you this, I think people do have a right to protect themselves and they are not being protected by the justice system. 

Bill Maher:  So you are for these concealed weapons laws?

Daryl Gates:  No, I'm not for it, but I think that it's something that until we do something about crime and violence in this nation, better face up to it that people want to be protected.  They want to feel that they can protect themselves.

Bill Maher:  Are you running for office, because I can't get a straight answer out of you.

Kate Mulgrew:  I want to know what kind of danger we're in.

Bill Maher:  I don't know where you stand on this.

Daryl Gates:  The cop in me says, hey there's so many guns out there.  I hate to see more.  On the other hand, the person who believes that people have a right to protect themselves because the justice has failed them so badly says, hey yeah, why not?

Bill Maher:  Well, which one of these personalities is prevalent right now?  We should have Roseanne on this show and we could hear all her points of view.

Kate Mulgrew:  You do subscribe to it?

Daryl Gates:  I carry one.

Kate Mulgrew:  You carry one.  Now if I were to carry one, might I ask you this then, what kind of danger am I protecting myself from?  Just give me a scenario in my daily life in California which is a nice, middle class existence.  I do not present myself to dangerous situations---

Daryl Gates:  Do you drive down the freeway?

Kate Mulgrew:  I do.

Daryl Gates:  Have you ever heard of car-jacking?  It happens all the time.

Kate Mulgrew:  So he pulls out the gun and I pull out mine and it's good luck.  I pull out my phaser and then it's really...

(Commercial break)

Bill Maher:  We were talking about defending ourselves in this violent society we live in.  What about guardian angels?  What about those kinds of groups?  Those vigilante groups.  I know when I see them, I feel better.

Kate Mulgrew:  You do?

Kevin Nealon:  As long as they're concealed, it's all right.

Kate Mulgrew:  You are speaking --- that's specifically on the subway in New York, right?

Bill Maher:  No, they perform a lot of places, not just New York.

Kate Mulgrew:  I feel good there.  If I saw them here, I don't think I'd feel ---

Kevin Nealon:  And they don't carry guns, do they?

Daryl Gates:  No they don't carry guns.

Bill Maher:  They don't carry guns.

Kevin Nealon:  But they have those red hats.

Bill Maher:  It's actually a raspberry beret.

Kate Mulgrew:  It's a French beret, yes.

Kevin Nealon:  I think that carrying guns doesn't solve the problem.

Joe Queenan:  Using guns solves them.

Kevin Nealon:  As long as they don't pass the right to kill law, then we're okay.  But they should have stiffer penalties and tougher laws because I don't think you are going to solve the problem carrying guns.

Daryl Gates:  Have to convict them first.

Joe Queenan:  Here's what bothers me, and we know there's been problems convicting people guilty of crimes in Los Angeles recently.  Here's what bothers me, you are in Texas.  You are in some bar.  You are arguing with a guy.  Arguing about who hit the most home runs---

Kate Mulgrew:  You are always in this bar.

Joe Queenan:  I spend a lot of time in bars in Texas.  He's got a gun. He's got a shotgun, so you figure, okay, I get ahold of the shotgun and we can continue the argument.  With the concealed gun law, he's got the visible gun here, he's got a concealed weapon as well. It should be one or the other.  We're either a no gun state or a concealed gun state or a visible gun state.  But you can't have all three, because you don't want to go into any bars in Texas.  It gets too confusing.

Daryl Gates:  They have to leave their guns outside.

Kevin Nealon:  Let's say you are a car-jacker, you get a two for one deal.  You get the car and you get the gun in the glove compartment.

Kate Mulgrew:  I just want to get an answer out of Mr. Gates about this.

Daryl Gates:  You'll never get it out in time.  That is as big a violation of the law as if you carry it on your person.  Can't conceal a gun in California.

Bill Maher:  But usually police are against any sort of self defense and the people say look, we would love to have the police do this for us, but Dominos comes faster than 911.  Sometimes we think it is just the police's ego saying we can do the job, but if you can't, you should let us do it.

Daryl Gates:  Once again, Bill, that's what I'm saying.  Until we get the system so it works, the justice system including the police, to protect people, crime continues to go up.  Violence continues to go up. It's very hard for me to say to people, hey no, you should not arm yourself.  I am opposed to more guns on the street.  I'd like to see more guns taken off the street.  I'd like to see them taken away from the criminals. But I'd hate to see law abiding people not have the opportunity to protect themselves.

Kate Mulgrew:  But Mr. Gates, may I ask you this question because you are very qualified to answer it.  Who is qualified to have a gun? Certainly not Kate Mulgrew.

Daryl Gates:  I think if we are going to pass the legislation, we have to build into that training so that the person is qualified to handle a gun, because there that is---

Kate Mulgrew:  Training to what extent because fear will always trigger panic.  That's what we are talking about in the final analysis.  You see a gun, I don't care if you've had months of training.

Daryl Gates:  That could happen.  And you'd better know what the law is because you can get yourself in deep, deep trouble with any kind of weapon, but particularly with a gun.

Bill Maher:  But I think she's saying the criminals, they are good at guns because that's their job.  And we're bad at guns.

Kate Mulgrew:  At any rate, these guys in this bar in Texas.  They're marvelous with these guns.

Kevin Nealon:  Which bar is this?

Kate Mulgrew:  Yeah, what is this bar in Texas?

Joe Queenan:  It's a bar filled with the kinds of guys who attacked this woman fifteen years ago and if she'd shot them, they wouldn't be there and I could have my drink in peace.

Kevin Nealon:  Bill, we have the right to carry a cellular phone now and look how out of control that's gotten.  If you do the gun thing, people are going to be standing on corners using the phone, the gun, you know. Shoot who?  Okay.  I think that covers it all.

(Commercial break)

Bill Maher:  We were talking about crime, but enough about crime. Crime's a downer.  Now let's talk about baby boomers.  I've read certainly a lot of articles --- eight by you, Joe --- in the last year. They've turned fifty.  This to me is the most disgusting --- usually I try to conceal what I think, not very well --- but this just blows my mind.  There's an article here in Newsweek called "Need a Life?  Get a Coach."  There are people now...listen to this, 'Coaches, an entirely new and distinctly 90's profession.  Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend.  For fees ranging from $150.00 to $500.00 a month for a weekly half hour phone session they will give you advice on everything from shopping to selling a business to shopping for snow tires.  It's like having a friend to bounce things off of.'

Kate Mulgrew:  And what do they charge?  What's the fee?

Bill Maher:  I doesn't matter.  What about a friend to bounce things off of?

Kevin Nealon:  Is there a phone number on there?

Bill Maher:  People have coaches in their life.

Kevin Nealon:  Why not just move back in with your mother?

Joe Queenan:  But this is an example of a baby boomer phenomenon.  I think it's safe to say most generations hate the next generation.  Or a generation hates the previous generation, but baby boomers are sort of unique in that the people who fought in the second world war hate us. Twenty year olds hate us and we hate us too.  It really is the most appalling generation because it is the first generation where people buy hand crafted, hand tooled German dollies for their kids.  And where every restaurant has to be named tratoria and where you can never order anything on the menu and you use words like shitaki all the time.  It's
the worst generation ever since like the Mongols.  It's just horrible. Nothing can be simple.  Everything has to be like this.

Kate Mulgrew:  Bill---

Joe Queenan:  I wonder who Hillary's coach is too.

Kate Mulgrew:  You said you are forty.  I'm forty.  Do we qualify as baby boomers?

Bill Maher:  We're right smack in the middle.

Kate Mulgrew:  We are in the middle?

Bill Maher:  The oldest ones have just reached fifty---

Joe Queenan:  Which means you are just as appalling as me.

Kate Mulgrew:  I don't consider myself a baby boomer.  I really don't consider myself a baby boomer, but it's generational.  I can't help it.

Bill Maher:  Yes.  You are right in the middle.  There is no one more boomer than you.  The oldest ones are fifty.  The youngest are thirty-one.

Kevin Nealon:  I just came in under the wire, men.

Joe Queenan:  If you know who Jethro Tull is, you're a boomer and you should have to pay for it.

Kate Mulgrew:  I do, yes.

Joe Queenan:  And you do.

Kate Mulgrew:  Yeah.

Bill Maher:  But can I get an acclimation.  Is this not of all the things the most disgusting part if this generation?  A coach in life.
People they call for $500.00.  For a half hour to call up to some guy. And it says here---there's a picture of this guy sitting with a laptop and he's got a cell phone.  He's probably in Saint Tropez giving bad advice for $500.00---

Kate Mulgrew:  But this is exactly what Joe's saying.  It's a natural by product of being such a passionless group of people.  Is that not what you're saying?

Joe Queenan:  Except that a previous group of people had personal coaches and they were all named Sigmund and they were called psychiatrists.  You could get wisdom from a guy named Sigmund, but all these coaches are named Kip and you shouldn't call anyone in the middle of the night and pay $500.00 to get personal coaching from a guy named Kip.

Kevin Nealon: This is how it started.  You said there's a guy at his computer.  He called some guy to help him with his computer.  The guy helped him  He said can I get you some coffee while you are trying to figure out the word processor?  Sure.  I'll get him some coffee. There's a phone call for you.  Would you get it for me?  It just started snow balling and now the guy hires him for $500.00 a week.

Bill Maher:  And it's supposedly going to explode, they say here, 'I think in the next five years people are going to say who is your coach, not what is a coach.'

Joe Queenan:  What we need is---

Bill Maher:  Joe, who is your coach?  Some guy in a Texas bar.

Joe Queenan:  You need to get four people on this program.  If O. J. had had a coach that night and somebody had said, no don't do it.  If poor people could just have coaches to call in the middle of the night who'd say, no, don't, it won't be a good idea, leave the gun at home.  Don't do the crack.  Don't kill your wife.  The problem is that the coaching market is directed at the wrong people.  It's directed at people like us who have the money.

Kate Mulgrew:  We're having an awfully violent reaction for a group of people whom I'm sure are coached on many levels.  We've got lawyers, right?  Agents, managers, bankers.  So the guy gets smart.  He says what am I paying all these people for.  I'll get economic.

Bill Maher:  That is a very good point.

Daryl Gates:  Actors have used coaches for a long, long period of time. Industry has used them.  Business industry has used them, but they've used them in a group.  This personal coach thing is different.  We used to call our sergeants coaches.  We'd say hey, don't be a supervisor, be a coach.  Inspire your people.  Get more work out of them.  Get them to do the right thing.  Get them to be on time.  Get them to answer that 911 call on time.

Kevin Nealon:  You need better coaches.

Daryl Gates:  That's kind of a philosophy that's been developed.  The personal coach is really different.  Although you are right, we have lawyers.  Unfortunately too many lawyers and---

Bill Maher:  People, especially in show business have an accountant, they have a business manager.  I mean, Kevin, am I right?  You have a manager.  You have people who do your life for you.

Kevin Nealon:  I also have a personal coach, and her name is Heidi. 

(Commercial break)

Bill Maher:  Back to this coach thing.  Do you think there is a connection between this and shows like Friends?  People somehow, in our society don't feel like they have real friends and they have to find some sort of substitute.  Is that why they watch Friends?

Kate Mulgrew:  You hit it remarkably.  That's it exactly.  That's it.

Bill Maher:  You think that's it?

Kate Mulgrew:  Because they really don't have an intimate connection that they trust.

Kevin Nealon:  I don't know.  I just think they are very busy and it's such a fast paced life now.  We have so many conveniences and so many ways of getting places, you just need someone to help you out.

Joe Queenan:  I think it's a great excuse to tell your wife.  When you get calls in the middle of the night and you just say my coach and I have to leave now.  I'll be back in three hours and I'll be a little disheveled.

Kate Mulgrew:  It's a wonderful excuse under any circumstances.  It's my coach.  Right?  Gotta fly.

Bill Maher:  But there is a big trend.  It started with Cheers.  Cheers was the first show where it was set in a bar.  I mean they never used to be able to do something like that, a show in a bar.

Kevin Nealon:  And there was a guy on there named Coach.  I see where you're going.  I see where you're going on this.

Bill Maher:  And that spawned --- and then Seinfield and then Friends. And then there's forty-two shows like that where people say, oh yeah, those are my friends.  Yeah, I'm kinda like them.  Sort of.

Kate Mulgrew:  Generic friends.  Nothing more specific any more. 

Bill Maher:  For a half hour a week, they're just like me.

Kevin Nealon:  If it wasn't so expensive, I think it would be great. But you know it's a personal coach.  Maybe if you just got a group coach, you found people that had the same needs as you and then your hired a group coach.

Joe Queenan:  If you could have three women from Friends as your coach. Five hundred bucks, fine.