Huffpost Fifty
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Bill Maher Headshot

On Being Over 50

Posted: Updated:

I almost cried the other night when Arianna mentioned that HuffPost was
launching Huff/Post50, and did I have any thoughts about being over 50...

Any? Unfortunately, I have nothing but thoughts about being over 50.

I remember seeing Alan King in Atlantic City in the '80s (when I was a
young comedian) and he said, "I'm 56, and people say I'm middle aged -- who
do you know who lives to be 112?"

I'm 55. It was funnier then.

The thing about your fifties is, you're not nearly over (if you're lucky)
-- in fact, lots of ambitious people are peaking -- but it is the first time
in your life that you can see over the crest of the mountain and down into
the Valley below -- you know, Death. Death is the monster we all fear, yet
with each day, we walk toward it, and can't help doing so; we can't help
but walk toward the one thing we're most trying to avoid.

Little things remind you of this all the time -- like minor cuts taking
longer to heal than they used to. It doesn't cause you any health
problems, but it reminds you your body is not replacing cells as fast as
it used to, and the ones it is sending are inferior copies of their
predecessors. That's why we age, and look progressively worse as the years
pass: just like a photocopy or a video tape that looks slightly worse each
time its copied, we are constantly copying ourselves and coming out a
little inferior every time. Merry Christmas.

However... the one thing that does seem to get better, at least so far, is
the brain -- you know, so you can be more aware of the depressing physical
part! But hey, the depressing physical part also gives you an urgency to
life that is really quite irreplaceable. When you're young, you don't
appreciate! And learning to appreciate life is almost better than being
young and ignoring it.

At least that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

I'll be performing at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on November 5th. For more info, click here.