Bill Maher's White House Petition for Obama to Appear on 'Real Time' Reaches Threshold for Response

Janet Van Ham/HBO
Real Time With Bill Maher

"Let's just say our invitation has gotten lost in the mail for seven years, which would be OK except for the fact that in that time, this president has done virtually every other show in the known universe."

Your move, Mr. President. 

Bill Maher's White House petition requesting President Obama appear on his HBO show, Real Time, reached more than 100,000 signatures, meaning a formal response is now required. 

Maher launched the petition on Friday and announced his move during the season premiere of his show when he told his audience in studio and at home that he is about to turn 60. And while he never asked his fans for anything in the past, he had a request: President Obama on the program before his final year in office ends.

The White House, by its own system, has to respond to any petition that gets at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days. As of Sunday night, Maher's had more than 133,250.

"Other shows are always begging the audience every five minutes to 'like us. Like me, please. Like me,'" Maher said of other late-night programs. "I would never ask you to be our unpaid intern and publicity department. I'm old-school show business. You're not here for me. I'm here for you."

With that being said, it was time to make a withdraw from the "favor bank," Maher contended. 

"Let's just say our invitation has gotten lost in the mail for seven years, which would be OK except for the fact that in that time, this president has done virtually every other show in the known universe," Maher joked. 

A petition to the White House requiring a response  if fans did their job  was the perfect way to facilitate the guest spot, Maher explained. 

Maher, somewhat exasperated, couldn't understand why he had to go to such lengths to get Obama on his show when it seemed so simple for other talk shows to book the president. 

"I'm curious because I would hate to think that I have to always agree with you on everything to get into the club, when actually I have been pretty damn supportive," Maher said before showing clips of him vocally supporting Obama over the years. 

There is no set timeframe in which the White House must respond. Traditionally, a response is issued within days of the petition meeting all criteria. 

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