Donald Trump Teaches Bill Maher A $5 Million Lesson: Do Not Make Idle Bets With Donald Trump

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Donald Trump is suing Bill Maher for $5 million based on a joke

When you’re someone like Bill Maher, and you’re paid to make jokes on television, we assume it’s pretty hard to believe that people are going to take things you say, for instance, on Jay Leno’s couch, seriously. But when you’re someone like Donald Trump, who probably has millions of employees ready to act on his very whim, you can take everything seriously — particularly if it earns you a bit of publicity. Which, apparently, Donald Trump still craves. That’s our assessment of this crazypants lawsuit with which Trump has just slapped the Real Time host. It all began with this joking exchange Maher made on the Tonight Show a month ago:

Playing off of Trump’s unfounded Obama birther accusations and last fall’s irritating request for the president to make his college transcripts public in exchange for a $5 million donation from Trump to a charity of Obama’s choice, Maher offered $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice if he could prove his father is not an orangutan. (This inspired by the unnatural color of the real estate mogul’s hair.) The next day, Trump actually had one of his flunkies send Maher a copy of his birth certificate (also obtained by Yahoo), naming Fred Trump as his father.

Being a reasonable person who does not take his own jokes at face value — or, if he’s taking the Trump approach, maybe he doesn’t necessarily believe that there wasn’t also an orangutan named Fred Trump — Maher has not paid up. And according to papers obtained by E!, Trump filed a lawsuit in the L.A. County Superior Court yesterday, claiming that the letter sent with his birth certificate constitutes a written contract. And so, he’s demanding $5 million in damages.

We’re sure the L.A. courts are thrilled to have this one on their hands now!

[Photos: Getty Images]