Here’s the Real Time with Bill Maher lineup for May 17, 2019

Bill Maher (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
Bill Maher (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images) /

Real Time with Bill Maher welcomes back some familiar faces and introduces some new guests on tonight’s new episode.

Another busy week of news from Washington, D.C. and around the world has come to an end. That means it is time to tune in to Real Time with Bill Maher for a breakdown and provocative discussion of everything that happened.

The rest of late night have been doing their best to keep up with the news. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert  has looked at tensions with IranLate Night with Seth Meyers has been focused on the trade war with China.

More bad news has also come out for President Donald Trump. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn revealed that people close to Trump attempted to influence him during his cooperation with the Mueller investigation.

U.S. relations with Iran, the economic consequences of a trade war with China, and the Flynn news are all likely topics of discussion on tonight’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Here’s a breakdown of the guests that will be joining Bill Maher.


Leading things off will be author and political commentator Fran Lebowitz. Lewbowitz has been on Real Time several times before, most recently during last season.

As a liberal Democrat, Lebowitz has been extremely critical of President Trump both as a leader and individual. She isn’t afraid to insult the president in much the same manner he insults any of his critics or political opponents.

Lebowitz is also very vocal about political and social conditions in New York City. Expect her to have a lot to say if asked about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Mid-show interview

The mid-show interview will feature a first time guest to Real Time with Bill Maher. Author, physician and Vanderbilt University professor Jonathan Metzl will sit down with Maher.

Earlier this year, Metzl published his book Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland. It examines the moral and health consequences of right-wing politics inspired by white nationalism and racism.

It is likely that Metzl will connect what he witnessed while writing his book to news on the proposed abortion ban in Alabama. Metzl has commented on the story via Twitter and may get the chance to talk about it more with Bill Maher.

The panel

James Kirchick will be on tonight’s panel. The journalist and author will be making his first appearance on Real Time.

Kirchick gained increased notoriety during the 2016 presidential election as one of a number of neoconservatives who supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. In 2017, he published his book The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.

Journalist, playwright, and author George Packer will also be on the panel. He was last a guest of Bill Maher in 2017.

Known for his writings in The New Yorker, Packer also earned praise for his nonfiction book The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq. With similarities being drawn between the 2003 invasion of Iraq and possible conflict with Iran, Packer could have a lot to say on the topic. Packer’s latest book is Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century.

Rounding out the panel is Neera Tanden. It will be the seventh time on the show for Tanden, who serves as president of the Center for American Progress policy and advocacy organization.

Tanden worked in the administrations of both President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. She was also an adviser to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.

It was at that time that Tanden was caught up in WikiLeaks’ release of stolen emails. Tanden’s correspondence with consultant John Podesta became public. Tanden applauded the recent arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and may have more to say with Bill Maher tonight.

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Real Time with Bill Maher airs tonight, May 17, on HBO at 10:00 PM ET. Who are you most excited to see on the show? What do you want the discussion topics to be? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check in with Last Night On for highlights.