For the past 18 years, Bill Maher has surfed American television waves atop a satirical soapbox of political commentary and unabashed honesty, earning 24 Emmy nominations along the way. After launching his career as a standup comedian in 1979, Maher eventually earned the chance to split the sides of a national audience as host of Comedy Central's Politically Incorrect. Since 2002, the quick-witted quote machine has led a weekly roundtable discussion on HBO's Real Time, which invites a panel of celebrity guests to voice their stances on hot-button issues such as politics, religion, and the marshmallow-to-oats ratio of Lucky Charms. An accomplished author, Maher has also penned several bestselling books, and his 2008 documentary, Religulous, sits among the highest-grossing documentaries of all time. As Maher scatters laugh bombs across the Waikiki Shell, guests will enjoy views of the stage from the venue's lawn, where plush tufts volunteer to shelter bottoms and harbor insect nobility from the comedian's brutally candid views.
One of Hawaii’s most expansive block parties delivers thunderous beats and intoxicating rhythms from more than two dozen musical acts sprawled across three venues. After checking in at Gordon Biersch, Groupon holders can bop between three Aloha Tower alehouses, sampling sonic entertainment at harborside spots such as Don Ho’s and The Waterfront. Tunesmiths drum out reggae and island rhythms from the plateau of four stages, while DJs spin house, hip-hop, and disco remixes of Ezra Pound’s The Cantos. Join Positive Motion for a celebratory spin at their CD-release party or float away on the eddies of Tribal Seeds' beguiling reggae-infused roots rock.
ProElite MMA pits some of the world's most renowned fighters against each other during impassioned, high-intensity MMA matches. Headlining the main card on January 21, middleweight Japanese fan favorite Ikuhisa “The Punk” Minowa (51-32-8) takes on towering Hawaii native Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (13–9), who, at ProElite's last Hawaiian event in August, 2011, sent established MMA star Joe "Diesel" Riggs to the floor just 59 seconds into the first round by claiming that he'd lost a contact. Heavyweight Ryan Martinez (6-1), who previously took down undefeated NCAA heavyweight Mark Ellis, will square off with Illinois native Cody Griffin (5-2), and Jake "The Honey Bear" Heun (2-1), formerly a linebacker at the University of Hawaii, will put beehives on his fists before sparring with Richard "The Black Eagle" Odoms (6-0), a San Antonio police officer. In the Bantamweight bout, Sara McMann (4-1), the first American woman to snag a silver Olympic medal for arm wrestling, faces off against Tokyo native Hitomi Akano (1-0).
Diamond Head looming in the distance, the pool deck shimmers resplendently with crimson-fringed dancers, sequined acrobats, and flames erupting from the mouths of fire-breathers. At 6:30 p.m., Polynesian dancers greet arriving audience members—who sit cabaret-style—and whirl to live music under the Waikiki Beach sky. Tableside magicians and balloon artists wow with up-close magic and inflatable, functioning anvils. Glowing amber in the setting sun, Vili the Warrior starts the show at 7 p.m. What follows is half luau, half circus: acrobatic duos twirl on aerial hoops and silks, contortionists twist and torque, and Polynesian and Tahitian dancers execute exotic moves to the beat of the drums. When the Samoan fire-knife dancer extinguishes his last flame, audiences are invited to meet the performers and have photos taken with them.
The Kamehameha Lions Club Foundation, a registered charitable organization, harnesses chuckles and world-class entertainers to benefit its scholarship fund for the Sacred Hearts Academy, the La Pietra: Hawaii School for Girls, and Kalani High School Leo Clubs Community Service Programs, as well as other statewide community-service projects.