Now that takes balls!
“Real Time” host Bill Maher jokingly unveiled a new “award show” during his closing monologue Friday evening, saying it’ll be better than the Oscars and Emmys because it’s dedicated to people brave enough to stand up against the cancel culture.
He vowed to present the “Cojones Awards” — a golden statue of dangling testicles — each year moving forward for “outstanding achievement in growing a pair.”
The first four honorees getting the “solid brass balls” were actor Ben Stiller, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, Trader Joe’s, and Cornell University.
Maher said the idea came up a year ago when he and other A-listers were invited to the home of “a very prominent Hollywood producer” where he was asked to moderate a discussion about cancel culture.
“The idea was met with great enthusiasm by everyone and in short order, different people were suggesting the ways that they’re very challenged to be put to use,” he recalled.
“And then of course being Hollywood, nothing happened. But it’s still a good idea, so I’m going to do it right here, right now.”
The first award Maher presented went to his alma mater Cornell University and its president Martha Pollack for rejecting students’ demand for trigger warnings for “traumatic” content in classes
“She didn’t cave in or hire a new dean of sensitivity, she just said, ‘No. College is for introducing you to new ideas — not for kissing your ass and making you feel wonderful and always right,'” Maher said.
“Cornell, I present you with these balls. I sure could have used them when I was there.”
The second award went to Trader Joe’s, which stood behind its ethnically themed product names like “Trader José’s,” and “Arabian Joe’s” after a petition in 2020 called for their removal for being “racist.”
The grocery store chain at the time issued a statement saying, “We disagree that any of these labels are racist and we do not make decisions based on petitions.”
Sarandos grabbed the third “Cojones” for his handling of uproar by some Netflix staffers in 2021 toward Dave Chappelle’s comedy special, telling them at the time if they don’t support the content then “Netflix may not be the best place for you.”
“So for making the phrase ‘don’t let the door hit you in the ass’ never sound better, this is for you Ted,” Maher said.
The final honoree was Ben Stiller, who earlier this year defended his 2008 edgy comedy film “Tropic Thunder,” saying he makes “no apologies” and is “proud” of his work and everyone involved.
“Tropic Thunder” — which starred Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. — has come under fire from some critics for depicting Downey in blackface.
Downey played Kirk Lazarus, an Australian method actor whose skin is darkened to portray a black soldier in a war flick.
“And the lesson is if you stand up to the mob for just a day or two, their shallow, impatient, immature smartphone-driven gerbil minds will forget about it and go on to the next nothing-burger, and you, you still will have your cojones,” Maher concluded.