Here’s the lineup for tonight’s new Real Time with Bill Maher

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Bill Maher attends a DuJour Magazine celebration of 12 seasons of REAL TIME with Bill Maher at UP
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Bill Maher attends a DuJour Magazine celebration of 12 seasons of REAL TIME with Bill Maher at UP /

Politicians, foreign policy experts, and a comedian come together for an all new episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.

The fight over the release of the Mueller report is just getting started. 2020 presidential candidates are facing more and more scrutiny. All this and more provide plenty to discuss for Real Time with Bill Maher.

While late night shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Late Night with Seth Meyers have been trying to keep up with the news all week, Bill Maher has spent the week getting familiar with the conversation ahead of tonight’s new Real Time.

The weekly format of Real Time is an advantage for Maher in that he can take a week’s worth of stories and commentary to inform his show. But it also means that he has to be selective about what he covers and where the discussion goes each show.

Stories including White House security clearance overrides, Joe Biden’s behavior towards women, and a potential closing of the southern border are all on the table for tonight’s Real Time. Here’s a breakdown of the guest lineup.


The first guest tonight will be Julian Castro. It will mark his first visit to Real Time with Bill Maher.

Castro was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 2009 to 2014 before being named to President Barack Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He has also declared himself a candidate for the Democratic nominee for president in 2020.

Castro should be able to comment on the border situation in his native Texas. He can also give the audience a better understanding of who he is as a presidential candidate and why he thinks he’s the Democrats’ best chance against President Trump in 2020.

Mid-show interview

Making her sixth appearance on Real Time will be comedian Chelsea Handler. She was last on the show in Nov. 2018.

Handler hosted Chelsea, Netflix’s first talk show from 2016 to 2017 before it was not renewed for a third season. She has remained very busy, however, and her book Life Will Be the Death of Me…and You Too! will be published on April 9.

Handler has been a very vocal critic of President Trump. Bill Maher always enjoys interviewing a fellow comedian and especially one that isn’t shy about sharing his or her opinions on the day’s news.

The panel

Danielle Pletka will be on the panel. It is her third time on the show and first since 2006.

Pletka is the vice-president for foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. The Australian native frequently discusses the Middle East. She is also a strong supporter of President Trump and has been a vocal denier of climate change science.

Journalist and political commentator Gideon Rose is also on the panel. It will be his first time on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Rose is a member of the think tank the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as the editor of the nonprofit’s magazine Foreign Affairs. He served on the National Security Council of former President Bill Clinton. Expect his views on foreign policy to challenge those of Pletka, making for an interesting debate moderated by Maher.

Author Salman Rushdie rounds out the panel. A friend of the show, it marks his 16th time visiting with Maher.

Rushdie’s last publication was the 2017 novel The Golden House. Beyond his literary works, Rushdie has always shared his political opinions. He has supported the Democratic Party and been critical of Republicans. Rushdie recently delivered a lecture on civility, a topic that comes up frequently when talking about the state of American politics.

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Real Time with Bill Maher airs live tonight, April 5, at 10:00 PM ET on HBO. As always, you can follow along with the show on Twitter and submit questions for the guests. Tune in and be sure to check back with Last Night On for all things late night.