Is Real Time with Bill Maher new tonight, April 17?

Real Time with Bill Maher (Photo by Mike Coppola/VF17/Getty Images for VF)
Real Time with Bill Maher (Photo by Mike Coppola/VF17/Getty Images for VF) /

Should Real Time with Bill Maher fans expect to see a brand new episode tonight on HBO?

Many people have given up trying to keep track of the days of the week. Social distancing and quarantining during a pandemic can have that effect. For late night fans, checking in on Real Time with Bill Maher is a reminder that it’s Friday.

Last week, Bill Maher found himself in yet another controversy following an at-home edition of Real Time. The comedian drew criticism for calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” as some consider the label offensive, racist, and generally unhelpful. But then again, Maher is no stranger to offending people.

It is highly unlikely that this latest “scandal” will have any real influence on how Maher conducts himself. Audiences will find out for sure tonight when Real Time returns with another brand new episode filmed from Maher’s home in Los Angeles. Here’s a breakdown of tonight’s guest lineup:

Fareed Zakaria

Author, journalist and television host Fareed Zakaria will talk with Maher tonight. It is his 11th appearance on the show.

Zakaria can currently be seen on CNN hosting Fareed Zakaria GPS and his columns can be read in The Washington Post. He has been critical of how the COVID-19 outbreak has been handling, calling for more testing and covering the impact on U.S-China relations.

On Real Time, expect Zakaria to expand on these topics. He may also talk about President Trump’s press briefings which have been marked by contentious exchanges with journalists.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw

Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas will also join the show. It marks his first appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Crenshaw is a former U.S. Navy Seal who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2019. A Republican, Rep. Crenshaw has supported many of President Trump’s policies. Earlier this month, his book Fortitude: American Resilience in the Age of Outrage was published.

There may not be much in the way of politics that Rep. Crenshaw and Bill Maher have in politics. But both seem eager to end the “age of outrage” along with concepts like safe spaces and trigger warnings. It should make for an interesting conversation on tonight’s show.

Andrew Sullivan

A familiar face rounds out tonight’s guest lineup. Frequent Real Time visitor Andrew Sullivan will also be on the show.

Sullivan is a writer and editor who can be read in New York magazine. His most recent piece argued that the novel coronavirus pandemic has signaled the need for U.S.-Chinese relations to end. Sullivan should offer a different perspective from that of Zakaria on this issue while also tying in how the pandemic has influenced the conservative positions.

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Which guest are you most looking forward to watching? What specific topics do you hope will dominate the discussion? Let us know in the comment section below. Real Time with Bill Maher airs tonight at 10:00 PM ET on HBO.