Peripatetic talk show host Bill Maher used to have a show called “Politically Incorrect.”
That described him a T. So now, going against popular opinion, he will resume his current show, “Real Time,” without writers. His statement is below. Like “The View” and “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” he’s going to wing it rather than stay dark like the other late night hosts.
Maybe Maher will moderate a weekly examination of the WGA and SAG strikes until they are resolved, and please god, not take the side of management.
“Real Time is coming back, unfortunately, sans writers or writing. It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work. The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns. Despite some assistance from me, much of the staff is struggling mightily. We all were hopeful this would come to an end after Labor Day, but that day has come and gone, and there still seems to be nothing happening. I love my writers, I am one of them, but I’m not prepared to lose an entire year and see so many below-the-line people suffer so much. I will honor the spirit of the strike by not doing a monologue, desk piece, New Rules or editorial, the written pieces that I am so proud of on Real Time. And I’ll say it upfront to the audience: the show I will be doing without my writers will not be as good as our normal show, full stop. But the heart of the show is an off-the-cuff panel discussion that aims to cut through the bullshit and predictable partisanship, and that will continue. The show will not disappoint.”