EXCLUSIVE: As timely bookings go, this one is unimpeachable: HBO‘s Real Time with Bill Maher will kick off its 18th season next Friday with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as the first guest.
Pelosi will be the top-of-show guest for the late-night staple, which originates in Los Angeles and airs live at 10 PM ET and delayed at 10 PM in the West. Her appearance is timed to today’s news that she plans to send the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate next week.
First elected to Congress in 1987, Pelosi has led House Democrats since 2004. Three years later, the San Francisco politician became the first female Speaker of the House, making her the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history and third in line for the presidency. She became the House Minority leader in 2011 and then reclaimed the Speaker’s gavel in 2018.
The lawmaker has become the nemesis of Trump and the Democratic face of the impeachment proceedings. On Thursday, the House voted to approve a War Powers Resolution that seeks to reassert congressional authority and rebuke the Trump’s administrations military actions against Iran.
Trump then took to Twitter to snipe at Pelosi on both fronts.
Next Friday’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher also will feature a mid-show interview with Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, whose campaign cornerstone is a “universal basic income payment” of $1,000 a month for every American — a “Freedom Dividend” intended to offset the consequences of rapid automation in the work sector.
The hourlong premiere’s panelists will be Joe Walsh, the conservative radio host and former Illinois congressman who is challenging Trump for the GOP presidential nomination; Kara Swisher, a tech business journalist and Recode co-founder; and Jon Meachum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian.
Maher ended Season 17 with a commentary regarding the perilously polarized state of contemporary American politics. In his remarks, Maher signaled a desire to tilt his comedy more toward insight and less toward insult.
“I have learned that the anti-intellectualism on the right doesn’t come primarily through stupidity it comes from hate,” Maher said. “Telling people that you think they’re irredeemable is what makes them say ‘You know what, I’d rather side with Russia than you.'”
The executive producers of Real Time with Bill Maher are Maher, Sheila Griffiths, Marc Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen and Billy Martin. Chris Kelly is the co-executive producer. Matt Wood is the producer. Chelsea Braun, Miles Leicher, Joaquin Torres are associate producers. Paul Casey is the director.
Real Time wrapped its 17th season on November 15 with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) as the top-of-show guest.
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