"You're not going to find me apologizing," Maher said. "I have been doing this for so long and, having gone through so many tribulations, including the firing, I'm inoculated. I've been through this. You cannot scare me anymore. I'm playing with the house money, and I'm not going to apologize."
Maher said he doesn't like the current climate in which comedians feel compelled to apologize for edgy material because it ends up on the Internet and people who didn't hear it first-hand criticize it.
"It's a very chilling atmosphere," Maher told Politico. "You see these comics in nightclubs -- it's the next thing to practicing in front of your mirror at home -- and that was always sacred."
But because comedy routines are frequently taped using cell-phone cameras and posted on YouTube, "I think they're scared," he said.
"I think it's very dangerous when people can't even in small comedy clubs be wrong, be bad, be over the line," said Maher. "That's what stand-up comedy is all about, pushing the edge. In the age of mass emailing and so forth, you can just push a button and it's easy to do that and it makes advertisers think that more people are riled up than they really are and that's very unfortunate."
The new season of "Real Time" is to debut Friday night.