Should Real Time with Bill Maher fans expect to see a brand new episode tonight on HBO?
Real Time with Bill Maher has been on a hiatus since social distancing and quarantine protocols were put into place. But as other late night shows find ways to make it on air, is Real Time ready to return to television, too?
Shows like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert are among those airing at-home editions in their normal timeslots. These bare-bones productions have been effective in providing humor and escapism to audiences and fans have largely enjoyed the experience.
HBO’s late night shows haven’t exactly committed to a schedule like those on network television. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did return last week after Oliver stated he was unsure when he’d be seen again.
Now it is Real Time with Bill Maher‘s turn. The show is set to air a brand new episode tonight, April 3, using virtual interviews with Maher from his backyard. It’s not clear how the show’s format will go or how many guests will chat with Maher at once. With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of tonight’s guests.
Senator Bernie Sanders returns for his 15th appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. Although still in the race for the Democratic nomination, Senator Sanders has been focused on the COVID-19 response.
Chances are that Maher’s conversation will focus more on the novel coronavirus than the election. Senator Sanders has made it clear in his other interviews that he is worried about the economy and public health more than Joe Biden right now.
However, Senator Sanders should have plenty to say about President Donald Trump and how his White House has handled the pandemic. It should be an absolute must-watch interview.
Real Time will feature a first-time guest tonight. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will make his debut.
Garcetti, a Democrat, has served as mayor since 2013. He should talk with Maher about how Los Angeles is handling the COVID-19 outbreak and the steps his office has taken to ensure the public’s safety. The mayor recently recommended that everyone in Los Angeles wear masks to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Author and actor Max Brooks will also be on the show. It marks his eighth appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.
Brooks is an interesting choice as a guest. The son of legendary comedian Mel Brooks has made a name for himself as the author of several works of zombie fiction. It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear Brooks draw parallels between the current state of affairs and the imagined worlds of his books.
Brooks’ next book is Devolution, a part-satire, part-horror fiction work featuring a sasquatch. Fans of Brooks will definitely want to see his chat with Bill Maher.
Music icon Willie Nelson is set to make his third visit to Real Time with Bill Maher. It will be his first time on the show since 2014.
Nelson will likely be checking in from his home in Maui. Back in Dec., Maher tweet out a picture of himself, Nelson, and a few other celebrity friends after a show in what was a simpler time:
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on Nelson’s career. His album First Rose of Spring was originally set to be released on April 24. Instead, it has been pushed back until July 3. Expect Maher to ask Nelson how he has been handling life in the age of social distancing and quarantining.
Rounding out tonight’s guest lineup is Seth MacFarlane. The actor, writer, singer, and comedian has made a handful of visits to Real Time, most recently in June of 2019.
MacFarlane has several projects in the works right now. His series The Orville was set to move from Fox to Hulu for season three at the end of the year. He serves as executive producer of the documentary series Cosmos: Possible Worlds hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. American Dad is gearing up for a return to TBS. And season 18 of Family Guy is nearing its end on Fox.
MacFarlane could provide Maher with an update on how COVID-19 has affected his various productions. In the meantime, he put together a special podcast hosted by Family Guy characters Stewie and Brian addressing the pandemic.
Are you happy to see the show return to the air? Which guest are you most excited to hear from? Let us know in the comment section below. Real Time with Bill Maher airs tonight at 10:00 PM ET on HBO. For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.