Bill Maher on “Real Time”
Janet Van Ham/HBO
Bill Maher returned to HBO’s Real Time after some of his recent controversies during the writers’ strike.
Although he didn’t address the backlash directly, he briefly expressed his appreciation for his writers, staff and the Writers Guild of America shortly after the start of Friday’s episode of his political talk show.
“First of all, I want to thank everyone who made it possible to be back,” Maher said. “You know, I’m talking about my brilliant staff, writers and non-writers, who upgraded the jets so we could be there in two days. And the union people who expedited the paperwork so we could come back so quickly, so thank you very much.”
His comments came just before the start of a panel discussion with Sam Harris, host of the Making Sense podcast, and Mary Katharine Ham, author and co-host of the Getting Hammered podcast.
The current 21st season of Real Time premiered in January and was then put on hiatus after the Writers Guild of America strike began in May. Normally 35 episodes are broadcast per week and the show runs until the end of November.
But in September, the 67-year-old host said he would return to work and no longer take part in the strike. “Real time is coming back, unfortunately without writers or writing,” Maher wrote on , and I hope that they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with problems, problems and worries… I’m not ready to lose a whole year and see so many below- The people who are at the They are suffering so much.”
The move sparked backlash from many prominent names in the industry. But then Maher changed course a week later, citing that the WGA and studios had returned to the negotiating table and delaying the revival of his show.
“My decision to return to work was made when it seemed like nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike,” he explained on X. “Now that both sides have agreed to return to the negotiating table , I’ll go.” We want to delay the return of real time for now and hope that they finally manage to do so.”
With the resolution of the writers’ strike earlier this week, HBO announced that “Real Time” would be back on the air.
The new episode featured a one-on-one interview with Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who emerged from the second Republican primary debate earlier this week.