The 69-year-old radio star said Maher “ought to shut his mouth” and refrain from discussing his marriage on Tuesday’s episode of The Howard Stern Show.
Maher reportedly made the remarks during an earlier episode of his Club Random podcast, when the comedian questioned how Stern’s habit of “gushing about the second wife” on-air would make his first wife, Allison Berns, feel.
“How does this gushing about the second wife – how does that make the first wife feel? Could we just not gush about the person while the other person can still hear it?” the 67-year-old comedian said, during an interview with John Lennon’s son, the English musician Julian Lennon.
Berns and Stern got married in 1978 and separated in 2000.
The former America’s Got Talent judge met Beth, an animal rights activist, shortly after. They tied the knot after eight years of dating.
Maher also told Lennon he didn’t want to get in a fight with Stern considering “we’ve finally repaired our relationship”.
Stern hit back at Maher’s observation on Tuesday, calling it a “convoluted, nutty thing to say”.
He continued: “It’s assuming that he knows something about my first marriage. That, of course, the man must be leaving the woman and the woman must be devastated and be sitting around pining away for her famous man.
“He ought to shut his mouth! I mean, I don’t think I come on the air every day and say, ‘I love my wife.’ But I thought it was a pretty positive message, to – especially with my audience – to say to guys: ‘Instead of like ragging on our wives, how about talking about that we appreciate them and love them?’”
Stern also said he got “zero response” from Maher when he sent the Real Time host an email, asking why Maher didn’t address these concerns with Stern directly.
“I just wanted to see how... if he was brave enough to call me and actually get on the phone with me and zero response. I don’t care, though. He can think what he wants,” Stern added.
“I think I’m no longer friends with him.”
The Independent has contacted Maher’s representatives for comment.
Earlier this week, Maher was forced to reverse their decision to bring his HBO talk show Real Time with Bill Maher back amid the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strikes.
After Maher announced he would bring back the show, the WGA confirmed it would be picketing Real Time since its production would be a violation of its strike rules.
In response, the former Politically Incorrect host tweeted: ““My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike.
“Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I’m going to delay the return of Real Time, for now, and hope they can finally get this done.”
Drew Barrymore similarly delayed the return of her show, amid criticism from members of the WGA as well as celebrities after she announced The Drew Barrymore Show would resume filming despite the strikes.