Bill Maher Begs for the Return of the ‘Trad Dad’

YouTube/Real Time With Bill Maher
YouTube/Real Time With Bill Maher

Bill Maher has an idea for a Father’s Day gift that’s more than a little outdated.

The late-night talk show host mused Friday night about the need to bring back “traditional dads,” or “trad dads,” as he called them—fathers who “knows [he’s] your parent, not your friend.”

Maher’s monologue started with a familiar rant about how spoiled children are these days, leading to a critique of the concept of “gentle parenting”—or as he described it, “negotiating with terrorists.”

After acknowledging that he does not have any children himself, Maher argued that the reason so many teens and young adults are in mental health crisis is because of a lack of discipline from their parents.

“Our kids are crippled with anxiety because they haven’t properly been prepared for a world that doesn’t revolve around them,” he said, adding later: “The meal health disorder is on the part of the adults, not the children. The adults who forgot that to a child, discipline is love.”

The solution, Maher posited, is to bring back the “trad dad,”—not the “1950s psychopath who never said he loved you and hit you with a belt,” he clarified, but the dad “who believes ‘because I said so’ is a perfectly legitimate answer to any question a child may have.”

“He isn’t your emotional support animal,” Maher said of the archetype. “He’s simply a guy who understands the job: to raise an adult who can survive in the wild.”

Maher then delved into the consequences of not providing this type of leadership—namely, that teenage boys would fall victim to “meathead misogynist influencers” like Andrew Tate, the former professional kickboxer turned social media star who has been charged by the Romanian government with sex trafficking. (He denies the allegations.)

Describing Tate as “a man who answers the question, ‘What if Axe body spray could talk?’” Maher blamed Tate’s popularity on the lack of “masculine” influences in young boys’ daily lives.

“He’s popular with teenage boys because when we don’t give them a masculine male role model they look up to, they go out and find one,” he said. “And being teenage boys of course it’s going to be the worst possible one.”

Maher closed with a plea to bring back a version of the old-timey fathers of his youth.

“This Father’s Day, let’s give dear old dad the gift of being dear old dad,” he said. “And also, shut up. He’s trying to watch the game.”

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