He’s back, and this time it’s personal.

Stage / Bill Maher is reverently cocky, quick-witted, loudly and articulately opinionated and hilarious, and he’s aware of it. As the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Politically Incorrect, he’s made a career satirizing our government, the mass media, greed and those culturally illiterate political honchos in Washington. He supports marijuana legalization and gay marriage and serves on the board of PETA–so he’s probably an inspiring pain in the ass to hang out with. Those who don’t like to mix drinks with politics should stay dry around this guy. But seeing Maher’s mind fire off on-stage in front of you is an education. He knows how to make a point and pull you into his mind, regardless of which side of the fence you grow your garden. Plus, his friends are benefits; last year he brought an eclectic trio of buddies along: Sean Penn, Kato Kaelin and Eddie Vedder.

In our interview with him last year (“Working Overtime,” 12/21/11), Maher seemed to think we had a good program going on here, telling Matt Kain, “There are a lot of smart people in Hawaii; it’s a state now; they get the newspaper; they watch television; I think they’d really like a show like this.” We think he was being sincere, although, after the year we’ve had, God knows if he still believes it. But the show starts at 8, so you’ll be warmed up and back out on the town before the bell strikes twelve. It’s good way to start the night and end the year.

–James Cave

Hawaii Theatre, 1130 Bethel St., Mon., 12/31, 8pm, $79.50–$99.50, [], []