Bill Maher: I'll Never Win An Emmy Because I'm Atheist

Bill Maher's Emmy curse is legendary: he has been nominated 22 times — 11 for "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," nine for "Real Time with Bill Maher," and twice for comedy specials — but he's never won.

And he thinks it has something to do with his views on religion.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Maher said that religious Emmy voters don't vote for him because of his outspoken atheism.

"A panel of like 10 people watches one tape," he said. "If half of those people are religious, that probably eliminates me right there. A lot of people wouldn't vote for such an outspoken atheist, someone who made 'Religulous.'"

In the same interview, Maher weighed in on fellow atheist Christopher Hitchens and the religious people out there hoping Hitchens, who is battling esophageal cancer, will make a "deathbed conversion" to religion.

"People who are waiting for that are going to be disappointed -- because I don't think he's going to die," Maher said. "I expect him to be back on our panel, if not this season then next. People wish the fear that drives them their whole life would now drive him, because he's got cancer. But he's not a fearful guy, so it's not going to happen."

Earlier this year, Maher told the Los Angeles Times that it's his mix of outspoken views that prevents him from winning an Emmy, not just his atheism:

Honestly, my take is that you cannot speak the truth about as many things as I do without incurring the wrath of some people who vow every year not to vote for me. I'm sure that happened after I said what I said about 9/11. [While Maher did not side with the terrorists, he did say that flying a plane into a building is not "cowardly" as some called it.] I guarantee there have been those who pledge, "I'll never vote for him because he's an atheist and says all those things about God." Others probably declare, "I'll never vote for him because he doesn't think we should get a flu vaccination."