Watch Real Time with Bill Maher

Many people believe that comedy and politics should not mix, but Bill Maher does not agree. Maher is well-known to comedy audiences as a stand-up comic who has been performing for several years, but he is also an outspoken advocate for a number of political issues. This makes him the ideal host for a show like Real Time with Bill Maher. Airing weekly on HBO, Real Time with Bill Maher is a program that revolves around its host and his political leanings, but it also includes discussion and debate from a panel of guests, many of whom come from different sides of the ideological divide. It is this mix of conservatives and liberals along with politicians and comedians that gives the show its spark, and Maher acts as the perfect moderator and ringleader.

Real Time with Bill Maher is an hour-long program that airs each Friday on HBO. One of the most interesting aspects of the program is that it airs live, meaning that anything can happen. This provides for some spirited debates given the show's unrehearsed and mostly unscripted nature. A typical episode will begin with a sketch or a satirical bit involving events which are currently in the news. This is followed by a monologue delivered by the host. Before the panel comes out to have its discussion, Maher usually interviews an important political or social figure either in the studio or via satellite.

After the one-on-one interview, Maher introduces the three guests who will appear on that episode's panel. The panel segment of the program is the centerpiece of each show, and it typically produces the most noteworthy segments. This is because the guests often enter into fiery arguments with one another. However, things are not allowed to spin out of control thanks to Maher's ability to reign discussions back in to the topics at hand. Maher is a master of this, and he does so with agile humor and charm. The panel discussion is usually followed by another comedy bit, another one-on-one interview with a guest and the famous New Rules segment in which Maher goes through a list of humorous suggestions for rules that society should follow.

Real Time with Bill Maher is a comedy show, but it also adds important discussions to the arena of politics. This makes the show very rare, and it is why so many people tune in each week. The show is live and includes language that is meant for adults, so it is not for everyone. However, people who want to laugh while staying engaged in the political discussion love receiving their weekly dose of Maher and his program.

Friday 10:00 PM et/pt on HBO
17 Seasons, 503 Episodes
February 21, 2003
Talk & Interview, Comedy
7.5/10
Cast: Bill Maher
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Real Time with Bill Maher Full Episode Guide

  • Interviewee: Anthony Leiserowitz (director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication)Panelists: Kristen Soltis, Dan Neil & Horace CooperPanel Guest: Adrian Grenier (producer 'How to Make Money Selling Drugs')Topics: the Voting Rights Act, Defense of Marriage Act, the War on Drugs, abortions & executions in Texas, climate change, reproductive rights for women

  • [HBO] HD. Guests: Allan Lichtman, Dr. Debra Joh, Thom Hartmann, Liz Mair, Dan Savage.

  • Bill Maher welcomes a panel of three guests from different sides of the political spectrum to debate on current events.

  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and author Bret Easton Ellis are the interview guests. The panelists are columnist Charles Blow, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Cal.) and national security analyst Clint Watts.

  • William Weld; Kirsten Powers, Jonathan Swan And Lawrence Wilkerson; John Waters

  • Author Fran Lebowitz and psychiatrist Jonathan Metzl are the interview guests. The panelists are columnist Jamie Kirchick, journalist George Packer and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden.

  • Comic Bill Maher welcomes a panel of three guests from diverse parts of the political spectrum for a lively discussion of current events.

  • Washington governor Jay Inslee and musician Moby are the interview guests. The panelists are political analyst Bakari Sellers, columnist Bret Stephens and journalist Kara Swisher.

  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) and sportscaster Bob Costas are the interview guests. The panelists are journalist John Avlon, political analyst Zerlina Maxwell and tax-reform advocate Grover Norquist.

  • A talk show about current events with the former host of 'Politically Incorrect.' This weekly late-night forum is a virtual clone of 'P.I.,' with some Maher stand-up and a similarly diverse lineup of informed panelists.

  • Former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro and comedian Chelsea Handler are the interview guests. The panelists are foreign-policy scholar Danielle Pletka, Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and author Salman Rushdie.

  • South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg and attorney Preet Bharara are the interview guests. The panelists are commentator S.E. Cupp, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) and writer Andrew Sullivan.

  • A discussion of the latest stories and current events.

  • Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum are the interview guests. The panelists are national affairs analyst John Heilemann, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and political reporter Jessica Yellin.

  • Political advocate Matt Schlapp and author Noah Rothman are the interview guests. The panelists are political analyst Jonathan Alter, journalist Mary Katharine Ham and former RNC chairman Michael Steele.

  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) and author Bernard-Henri Lévy are the interview guests. The panelists are political strategist Donna Brazile, former senator Claire McCaskill and political strategist Rick Wilson.

  • [HBO] HD. Guests: Rahm Emanuel, John Legend, Paul Begala, David Frum, Maya Wiley.

  • Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and actor Eric Idle are the interview guests. The panelists are political analyst Jonathan Alter, journalist Natasha Bertrand and former representative Jack Kingston.

  • Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio are the interview guests. The panelists are journalist Peter Hamby, historian Jon Meacham and columnist Jennifer Rubin.

  • Bill Maher welcomes a panel of three guests from different backgrounds as they debate on current events.

  • Ohio governor John Kasich and the NFL's Marshawn Lynch are the interview guests in the Season 17 premiere. The panelists are commentator Erick Erickson, former representative Barney Frank and columnist Catherine Rampell.

  • [HBO] HD. Guests: Eric Swalwell, Garry Kasparov, Van Jones, Nancy MacLean, Steve Schmidt.

  • Bill's interview guests are the Democratic Congressman from California's 15th District and a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Eric Swalwell. The Founder of the Human Rights Foundation and a 13th World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov. Bill's roundtable panel includes the Founder of The Dream Corp., Author of the book, 'Beyond the Messy Truth' and CNN Host, Van Jones. Nancy MacLean is an award winning historian and author of the book, 'Democracy in Chains'. Steve Schmidt is a Republican Strategist and the former national campaign manager for McCain/Palin 2008.

  • Guests: Bob Woodward, Sarah Silverman, Cornell Belcher, Katty Kay, Bret Stephens.

  • [HBO] HD. Guests: Bari Weiss, Barbra Streisand, Chelsea Handler, Anthony Romero, Jim VandeHei.

  • Adult-film legend Stormy Daniels and psychologist Jonathan Haidt are the interview guests. The panelists are columnist Max Boot, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and political reporter Betsy Woodruff.

  • Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman and journalist Steve Kornacki are interviewed. The panelists are Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr., political commentator Reihan Salam and author Rebecca Traister.

  • Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and actor Jeff Bridges are the interview guests. The panelists are former representative David Jolly, journalist Soledad O'Brien and commentator Andrew Sullivan.

  • Steve Bannon and Neil deGrasse Tyson are the interview guests. Panelists include Max Brooks; Evelyn Farkas; and April Ryan.

  • Documentarian Michael Moore and humorist P.J. O'Rourke are the interview guests. The panelists are radio host Thom Hartmann, political commentator Steve Hilton and columnist Catherine Rampell.

  • Former secretary of state John Kerry and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer are the interview guests. The panelists are counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke, political commentator S.E. Cupp and journalist Mark Leibovich.

  • Filmmaker Jack Bryan and actor Jim Carrey are the interview guests. The panelists are political strategist David Axelrod, columnist Michelle Goldberg and former representative Charlie Dent.

  • Guests: John Brennan, Kara Swisher, David Corn, Saru Jayaraman, Rick Wilson.

  • Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and comedian Adam Conover are the interview guests. The panelists are former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, political commentator Charlie Sykes and journalist Jonathan Swan.

  • Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell and psychologist Steven Pinker are the interview guests. The panelists are journalist Christina Bellantoni, comedian D.L. Hughley and Rep. Seth Moulton

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Steve Schmidt, Charles Blow, Malcolm Nance & Kristen Soltis Anderson

  • Ben Shapiro and Michael Moore are the guests. The panelists are Jennifer Rubin, Bradley Whitford and Lawrence Wilkerson.

  • Gun rights activist Colion Noir and author Michael Pollan are the interview guests. The panelists are editor Josh Barro, commentator Michael Smerconish and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden.

  • Columnist George Will and comedian Billy Eichner are the interview guests. The panelists are Rep. Karen Bass (D-Cal.), commentator Margaret Hoover and journalist Michael Weiss.

  • Scholar Michael Eric Dyson and journalist Fareed Zakaria are the interview guests. The panelists are columnist Linda Chavez, journalist John Heilemann and political strategist Shermichael Singleton.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and radio host Charlamagne Tha God are the interview guests. The panelists are political strategist Paul Begala, journalist Natasha Bertrand and columnist Bret Stephens.

  • National security expert Clint Watts and economist Dambisa Moyo are the interview guests. The panelists are former CIA officer Evan McMullin, columnist Dan Savage and editor Bari Weiss.

  • Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) and actor Ethan Hawke are the interview guests. The panelists are former labor secretary Robert Reich and rapper-activist Killer Mike.

  • Historian Jon Meacham and Stockton, Cal., mayor Michael Tubbs are the interview guests. The panelists are former CIA director Michael Hayden, political commentator Sally Kohn and editor Matt Welch.

  • Journalist Ronan Farrow and columnist Ross Douthat are the interview guests. The panelists are political scientist Ian Bremmer, journalist Ana Marie Cox and columnist John Podhoretz.

  • Attorney Michael Avenatti and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson are the interview guests. The panelists are columnist Frank Bruni (New York Times), Washington governor Jay Inslee and author Alex Wagner ("FutureFace").

  • Guests: Brian Schatz, Andy Cohen, Jonathan Chait, Jason Kander, Maya Wiley.

  • Guests: Geraldo Rivera, Louie Anderson, Max Boot, Heather McGhee, Eliot Spitzer.

  • Mitch Landrieu; Gina McCarthy; Mona Charen; Chris Hayes; Malcolm Nance

  • Guests: Beto O'Rourke, Billy Bush, Pete Dominick, Nayyera Haq, Andrew Ross Sorkin.

  • Comedian Kathy Griffin and editor Bari Weiss are the interview guests. The panelists are comedian Trae Crowder, conservative blogger Erick Erickson and political analyst Ana Navarro.

  • Guests: David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Amy Chua, Eric Holder, Jon Meacham.

  • The Interview: Anna Deavere Smith.The Panel: Fran Lebowitz and Salman Rushdie.Mid-Show Interview: Vicente Fox.

  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) and editor Bari Weiss are the interview guests. The panelists are journalists Johann Hari and April Ryan, and law professor Richard Painter.

  • Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass and former White House communication director Anthony Scaramucci are the interview guests. The panelists are Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and political commentator David Frum.

  • A talk show about current events with the former host of 'Politically Incorrect.' This weekly late-night forum is a virtual clone of 'P.I.,' with some Maher stand-up and a similarly diverse lineup of informed panelists.

  • Guests: Michael Wolff, Saru Jayaraman, Andrew Sullivan, Larry Wilmore.

  • A look back at Bill Maher's run on TV features archival footage from "Politically Incorrect" and "Real Time," and appearances by Salman Rushdie, Maureen Dowd, Billy Crystal, Larry David, Martin Short, Woody Harrelson and Barbra Streisand.

Most Popular Real Time with Bill Maher Episodes

Real Time with Bill Maher News

Al Franken Attacks Trump on Bill Maher's Show

The senator says Trump is a "terrible president."

Ice Cube Won't Cancel Bill Maher Appearance

The rapper/actor won't let the host off the hook for the racial slur he used, though.

Al Franken Cancels Appearance on Bill Maher's Show

The Minnesota Senator says that Maher's recent use of a racial slur was "inappropriate and offensive."

HBO Condemns Bill Maher's Racial Slur

The network says the comedians behavior was "inexcusable" and will edit the comment out of future airings of his show.

Ben Affleck and Bill Maher Yelled At Each Other About Islam

The "Gone Girl" star had a bone to pick with Maher's "racist" views.

HBO Grants Bill Maher's 'Real Time' Two More Seasons

Let the conservative outrage ring. Bill Maher still has a job. HBO announced Tuesday morning that the outspoken, controversial comic and commentator's discussion show "Real Time With Bill Maher" has been given two more seasons worth of the premium cable network's blessings, Deadline reported this morning.

Obama Adviser Nixes Planned 'Real Time With Bill Maher' Appearance

Presidential campaign strategist David Axelrod - currently assisting with President Barack Obama's re-election effort - has cancelled without explanation an advertised appearance on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," reports Deadline today. Another Obama campaign spokesperson said simply that Axelrod "is not scheduled to go on at this time," according to Politico.

Bill Maher and Elisabeth Hasselbeck's Cat Fight Continues

Bill Maher defended a joke he made last week, putting Elisabeth Hasselbeck back in the hot seat.

Her original seat, if Maher had his way, would actually be on a plane to Egypt in exchange for the recently detained CBS correspondent, Lara Logan.

"Now that Hosni Mubarak released Lara Logan, he must put her intrepid hotness back on a plane to the United States immediately.

Real Time with Bill Maher Video Clips & Extras

Seth MacFarlane on Dem Debates | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) Clip (04:36) Future Headlines: Summer 2019 | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) Clip (01:24) New Rule: No Planet B | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) Clip (06:09) Overtime: Seth MacFarlane, Joy Reid, Adam Gopnik, Max Brooks | Real Time (HBO) Clip (07:40) Tulsi Gabbard | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) Clip (08:48) Monologue: Commie Con | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) Clip (04:17) Overtime: Allan Lichtman, Dan Savage, Thom Hartmann, Liz Mair, Dr. Debra Soh | Real Time (HBO) Clip (08:21) New Rule: Oprah 2020 | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) Clip (09:01)

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