Bill Maher and Stephen A. Smith had a wide-ranging conversation that included their thoughts on voluptuous women.

With the two broadcasters together in-person for Maher’s “Club Random” podcast, Maher was making a point that pretty women are “always complaining” in saying that they “can’t leave the house without getting hit on all the time”.

Maher said that attractive women would choose this inconvenience over being plain or ugly, and this is when Smith weighed in with philosophy on beauty courtesy of his close childhood friend.

“That’s right. But I tell you this, I tell you this true. I learned that beauty was in the eye of the beholder when I was growing up and one of my best friend’s name was [Pooley]. His name was Rodney [Cowan] but his nickname was Pooley. Everybody in the neighborhood knew him as Pooley. You could put Beyonce right in front of Pooley and Pooley would look at you and go like this, what the hell am I supposed to do with that? Because if you were not 250 pounds minimum with blubber hanging off your arms, and cellulite everywhere, and you weren’t big enough to tilt a small car, Pooley was not interested in you. You were entirely too small.”

Maher was not thrilled with this trend.

“What is that? What the f–k is that, with the love, I mean all of America now loves
bigness,” he said. “It’s not my thing. I’m not hating on it, to each his own … I’m hating on it because I feel first of all it’s not healthy. And second of all, it’s tilting everyone toward this you know, girls think you know, it’s better to have a giant ass and I’m not into a giant ass.”

Here was where he and Smith differed.

“Well, I’m not going to deny I do like a big booty, I’m not going to lie about that,” Smith said. “It’s almost mandatory for me personally.”

Maher inquired about racial differences.

Stephen A. Smith and Bill Maher traded thoughts on bigger women.
Stephen A. Smith and Bill Maher traded thoughts on bigger women.
Club Random Podcast

“And this was always something in the black community am I right?” he asked.

To which, Smith responded, “For the most part, yeah,” and concurred with a follow-up question about where the thickness trend originated.

“And then like everything else, the white people in the suburbs stole it because now I mean every girl wants a big booty,” Maher said, as Smith interjected, on the topic of big booties: “It is vastly appreciated by black men. Every black man I know, pretty much every black man I know, that’s what we like.”

Maher pointed out how times have changed. “But I’m saying, when I was a kid, I was growing up, when I was an adolescent, the last thing a girl wanted was a big ass,” he said.

Bill Maher at Vanity Fair's 2022 Oscars party.
Bill Maher at Vanity Fair’s 2022 Oscars party.

Smith disagreed: “See, I have no experience with that. I’ve never been around a black woman that didn’t want to have a nice ass.”

Maher thought that this phenomenon “must have come as very welcome news to a lot of white chicks eating Haagen Dazs.”

At this point, Smith took a bird’s eye view.

“But listen,” he said. “What happened is, I think that, listen women are competitive just like everybody else. And you’ve seen what I’ve seen over the years and what a lot of the white women that I have encountered, they’ve seen black girls, sisters, with voluptuous figures and they said, excuse me, yeah I want that because I want to compete with them. And they have no regard, no fear whatsoever competing with the sisters, for black men. I’ve seen it before. Not with everybody of course, but I’ve seen it.”

Maher asked about the distinction Smith had made earlier about bigger women being his friend’s thing, not his own.

“Big women have not been my thing. That’s his thing,” Smith explained. “I’ve always liked the voluptuous woman, meaning somebody with a big booty, no doubt about it, I’m still that way.”

Maher figured out Smith’s preferences: “Big booty but not big everything else?”

Yes, Smith affirmed, before clarifying his friend Pooley’s preferences.

“Pooley wants you big everywhere,” he continued. “He wants you taking up two seats on the plane. And if you’re not, he’s not interested. He’s not interested. Halle Berry, Beyonce, JLo, the list goes on and on. Megan Thee Stallion, Pooley looking at them like, ‘What am I supposed to do with that? They too small.’”

Stephen A. Smith on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" in 2022.
Stephen A. Smith on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” in 2022.
Paula Lobo/NBC via Getty Images

Now, a lightbulb went off in Maher’s head.

“So he wants Lizzo?” the host asked.

“Yeah,” Smith said. “And she might be too small.”


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Tyler Cowan