Carol Leifer, Richard Clarke, Tom Rogan Topline Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO

TV Picks: HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”


“America’s Gun Laws Are Worthless And Sad…”

Maher was once again ahead of the curve calling out the choke hold the gun lobby and the gun manufacturers have on lawmakers – both Dems and Republicans – in this country that has a school shooting almost daily it seems.

His “New Rules” segment last week called out the “Gunny Boo Boos” who decided to band together to exercise their “Constitutional rights” by heading into horrible chain restaurants and scaring the crap out of normal people there to eat a meal:

“Oh my, it looks like Vladimir Putin has annexed Chipotle.”

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This week, the series continues its 12th season Friday, June 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT), exclusively on HBO. The format gives Maher a platform for a monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists, and interviews with guests.

This Friday sees Gina McCarthy, administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as the top-of-show interview guest. On Monday, she justified the EPA’s sweeping new regulation on power plant emissions as a necessary step to prevent catastrophic increases in both the Earth’s temperature and sea levels.

“If we do nothing, in our grandkids’ lifetimes, temperatures could rise 10 degrees and seas could rise by 4 feet,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a Washington press conference announcing the new rule.
McCarthy also blamed climate change on rising medical bills, higher insurance costs, and an increased frequency in devastating storms.

“Climate inaction is costing us more money, in more places, more often,” she said. “2012 was the second most expensive year in U.S. history for natural disasters.”


Writer-comedian Carol Leifer is the mid-show interview guest.  Leifer just-published the book “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying.”  Her book is a humorous look at life and lessons learned through her three-decade career in show business.  Her bosses included Seinfeld co-creator Larry David and Saturday Night Live chieftain Lorne Michaels, to name just two.

In her book she admits she was never part of the “in crowd” with Michaels’s hip SNL family.  Leifer also wrote for Garry Shandling’s brilliant “Larry Sanders Show” and now is part of Lifetime’s best series, “Devious Maids,” which began its second season in April.

The roundtable guests are always entertaining national security expert Richard Clarke, political commentator Krystal Ball and political columnist Tom Rogan.

The sobering season finale of “VICE” debuts at 11:00 p.m., followed by a replay of Real Time at 11:30 p.m.

Bill Maher headlined his first special on the network in 1989 and has starred in nine solo specials to date, including the hour-long presentations “Bill Maher…But I’m Not Wrong,” “The Decider” and “I’m Swiss” (both nominated for an Emmy® in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special category), “Victory Begins at Home,” “Be More Cynical,” “The Golden Goose Special” and “Stuff That Struck Me Funny,” and two half-hour stand-up specials, plus the specials “30 Seconds Over Washington” and “Comic Relief VI™.” Maher is also an executive producer of the innovative news magazine show “VICE,” which is now in its second season on HBO.

HBO has renewed Maher’s series for a 13th season of 35 editions, to begin in Jan. 2015.

Maher was the creator and host of “Politically Incorrect,” which was produced by HBO Downtown Productions and debuted on Comedy Central in 1993. The series moved to ABC in 1997 and ran through 2002.

His last book, “The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass,” was published in November 2011 and made the New York Times bestseller list.

Maher’s 2006 book, “New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer,” also made the New York Times list, as well as bestseller lists across the country. He is also author of the books “When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism,” “Does Anybody Have a Problem with That? The Best of Politically Incorrect” and the novel “True Story.”

Maher produced and starred in the 2008 feature film “Religulous,” the seventh most successful documentary of all time.

Other HBO playdates: June 15 (1:00 p.m.), 16 (1:00 a.m.), 17 (5:30 p.m.) and 18 (11:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: June 13 (3:00 a.m.), 14 (9:45 a.m., 12:30 a.m.), 16 (7:30 p.m.) and 17 (9:00 p.m.)