Real Time with Bill Maher returns with a must-watch guest lineup

Bill Maher (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for J/P Haitian Relief Organization )
Bill Maher (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for J/P Haitian Relief Organization ) /

Season 18 of Real Time with Bill Maher kicks off tonight with a lineup of guests that fans won’t want to miss.

The long wait is finally over. Real Time with Bill Maher is back tonight and the new season of HBO’s late night show couldn’t be starting at a better time.

Season 17 closed out on Nov. 15, 2019. On the calendar, that wasn’t all that long ago. But in terms of the political timeline, it feels like a lifetime ago. So much has happened and so many twists and turns have come out in just a short amount of time. Fans desperate to hear Bill Maher’s unfiltered take on it all will finally get that chance tonight.

Maher has his choice of topics to go through tonight. Tensions with Iran, the Democratic field of nominees for president, the articles of impeachment, Lev Parnas’ bombshell interviews, and President Donald Trump’s overall mood are all on the table.

Helping drive the discussion on Real Time will be Maher’s guests. And Maher certainly has the goods tonight with a lineup that is sure to make headlines after the show.

Top-of-show interview

The top of the show interview will be with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. This will be Speaker Pelosi’s fourth time on Real Time with Bill Maher and first since 2014.

Pelosi’s appearance on Real Time comes just days after she sent the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate. The contentious relationship between Speaker Pelosi and President Trump is no secret and this latest chapter is by far the most historic.

Expect Maher to question Pelosi on her decision to delay sending the articles to the Senate and what hopes there are for a fair trial. Those curious as to just how an impeachment trial will play out will likely get some insight from the conversation between Pelosi and Maher.

Mid-show interview

Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only big name guest on Real Time‘s premiere. Bill Maher will also interview businessman and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Yang appeared on the show last season to discuss his campaign for the White House. He has run on the promise of universal basic income and also focused on immigration and climate change.

While polls show a wide gap between Yang and frontrunners like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, Yang has managed to make a real impact on the campaign. Maher will give Yang his own spotlight and the chance to comment on his vision for America’s future.

The panel

Real Time viewers will see some familiar faces on tonight’s panel. All three guests have appeared on the show before.

Joe Walsh is a former House of Representative members, conservative political commentator, and a primary challenger of President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Walsh was first a firm supporter of Donald Trump but became increasingly critical of President Trump until finally calling for his impeachment and announcing his candidacy for president. Walsh should offer some insight on why Trump supporters may flip come election time or why the Republican Party remains in such strong support of the president.

Kara Swisher is a journalist and co-founder of the technology news website Recode. Swisher was on Real Time last season and can provide commentary on the role of technology in the 2020 election. Swisher is also unlikely to hold back in criticizing President Trump and Republican efforts to dismiss his questionable actions in office.

Author Jon Meacham rounds out the panel and is another guest returning for the second consecutive season. His 2018 book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels was a New York Times bestseller. It uses past examples of political divisions in U.S. history to comment on today’s political climate. Meacham can put Trump’s presidency in historical context.

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Real Time with Bill Maher airs tonight, Jan. 17, at 10:00 PM ET on HBO. You can also send in questions for overtime via Twitter for a chance to seem them answered live on YouTube.