It may be permissible and even welcome to cuss on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” program. But even Maher knows what sounds odd as opposed to funny.

On Friday night, MSNBC “Hardball” Host Chris Matthews appeared on Maher’s show. Surprisingly he was relatively reserved and didn’t try to hog a show he wasn’t hosting. From time to time he glanced contemptuously at former Bush Administration Spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel, seated to his right. Hamel, Executive Editor of Public Notice, was grating, interjecting with nothing quotes and big horsey smiles and nods. So we understand.

The swearing, however, was harder to take. At one point Matthews cracked a joke about Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), saying, “She has more foster kids than Newt has wives.” Shocked faces all around. Matthews looked at Maher and reasoned, “I didn’t call him a dick.” Maher half-scolded, “Chris!” Matthews shot back, “You call him that.” Maher replied, “Yeah, and I’m me and you’re you.”