How Does Real Time with Bill Maher Choose Its Guests?

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First hitting the air in 2003, Real Time with Bill Maher is a politically focused talk show characterized by the sarcastic, biting humor of former comedian Bill Maher. The format of the show consists of animated discussions between three guests who typically offer three different political points of view as well as other appearances by topic experts. Maher opens the show with a monologue that pokes fun at recent news headlines and current events.

Guest selection for the show is influenced primarily by the show's format and the hot political topics for the week. Guests either appear on the show as a source for specific information or as part of a panel that engages with the show’s host, Bill Maher. The lineup on the weekly show usually includes political figures, journalists, activists, professors or popular celebrities.