It's not happening, guys. In fact, he took the opportunity to slam the fans who got riled up, breaking the joke down on a Real Time With Bill Maher segment called "Explaining Jokes to Idiots." Because calling the fans "idiots" is going to help.
He explained, "Two weeks ago I did a 'New Rule' on our Internet 'Overtime' segment about someone named Zayn Malik, who I'd never heard of until that day."
He added, "Well, the P.C. police as usual read way more into the joke than was actually there...'New Rule' is simply a framing device for the purposes of comedy. 'New Rules' are not legally binding, are not actual regulations, and do not carry the force of law."
He then explained the portion of the joke where he said: "Just tell me two things, Zayn. Which one in the band were you?" Bill noted, "Here we get to what we in the comedy business call the 'old switcheroo,' where my previous sentiments are revealed to be sarcastic, and we unveil that in reality I don't know who this guy is nor do I give a s**t."
Bill further explained, after the joke's punchline showed Zayn in a split-screen shot with accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: "Now, notice how the crowd was shocked at first, but in just a few seconds, they were cracking up and applauding. That's because they're not idiots and they understand or 'get' what the joke is: that they look alike."
In his defense, he said, "That's it! They look alike! Their facial features are quite similar, which is humorous because one is a murderer, and the other is in a boy band where they only murder the music."
Bill also addressed one element of the joke that the folks on the show didn't know, saying: "It turns out Zayn Malik is a Muslim, but neither I nor anyone on our staff knew that. How could we? The whole joke is I don't know who the f**k he is."
Oh, and those who took offense to the joke (including the media who reported on it) were dubbed "12-year-old girls" by Bill. Nice.