Maher's preferred format for his shows is somewhat unusual in two ways: first, rather than have one or two guests at a time, he (usually) prefers groups of at least 4 guests. Second, rather than focus essentially on sheer comedy, he leads discussions about serious political, social and cultural topics, cracking jokes based on those to maintain a light-hearted atmosphere. Yet, if the discussion gets heated over a subject he cares about, he tends to let it keep going rather than crack a joke. For his occasional one-to-one interviews (with people like Richard Dawkins (LSE), Sam Harris (LIE), etc. or major politicians) he prefers to, mostly, stick to issues and keep jokes to a minimum.
Maher is extremely self-confident (with or without justification) in his analytical understanding and knowledge of issues, and in his intelligence, easily being dismissive of others', despite being sometimes shot down.
All of the above, especially for a stand-up comedian, points to a man who in the end is more comfortable with L and P matters than E or R. Yet, his also constant focus on E points to that as a quadra value, therefore a Merry (i.e. Alpha or Beta) logical type.
The way that Maher runs his show, though, is typical Alpha: a constant change of discussion partners, always including people he disagrees with (and he knows he disagrees with), often having such people back even if, or especially if, they proved an intellectual match for him. All of that is typical of Alpha group atmospheres, based on L and E blocked with I rather than F.
As mentioned above, Maher tends to 'drift' from active generation of an E atmosphere to a more blunt, dry, factual discussion whenever the subject interests him. That points to P8 and E6 rather than P7 and E5. That is, all the evidence is that Bill Maher is an ILE.
Recommended reading and sources: as should be clear, this analysis is based exclusively on direct observations of Bill Maher in his show, his 'Religulous' movie, and interviews.
To learn more about ILE, click here.
If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.