The first video is the most subtly awkward and kind of my favorite. Finally someone (in fact, Bill Maher himself) calls out television audiences on being complete meatheads who clap whenever someone says a somewhat bold statement or something they want to hear. It really does turn the most intelligent of dialogue into empty and stupid rhetoric when an audience is ready to clap on command at any point someone makes, good or bad, right or wrong. However it's pretty awkward to insult your own audience when they really are the life and blood of your show's success. Like what about the next time a silence arrises and applause is actually due: probably a little awkward hesitation before they clap next. Also I love right after he says "can we please not clap every time a liberal says anything" everyone laughs (does each person think they're laughing at the guy next to them but not at themselves?) but then some people cheer. Wow- do they think they're above what he just said? They themselves are inanely cheering at at statement that says not to inanely cheer.
The second time Bill Maher tries to quiet the audience, he has a very awkward nervous chuckle that I enjoyed- I guess he's not sure if he crossed the line and alienated his audience.
What I find ironic is that Bill Maher is willing to call them out/shut them up when he thinks they're clapping or cheering about some point he doesn't care about or if they're really getting on his nerves, but doesn't mind having them as his cavalry when he's disagreeing with Christopher Hitchens. All Maher has to do is say drop the name "George Bush" with a negative connotation and bam- applause. As I said in a previous post, I don't normally like youtube comments and I don't want to talk politics but "sillybillybg144" (wtf...) has a good point: "Bill Maher's audience claps because as much as they think they are all free liberal thinkers, they're simply just sheep looking to follow someone who blames all the current problems on the Bush administration." No comment on the politics stuff because that's not my front but I really think most audiences are just like "sheep." Hitchens really does cut straight to the chase on the issue: if an audience is interrupting your point with meaningless applause and not even giving you the chance to make your point in an argument, a middle finger is the appropriate choice.
This last one is a bit longer and not as related to the main point: but basically heckling situations are always awkward. Bill Maher and the others keep trying to speak, thinking security will take care of the person but they never do... eventually, to avoid this awkwardness Maher tries to be badass and kick them off himself. Well-handled. Until he realizes there's more than one of them...