Tonight’s Real Time with Bill Maher includes an eclectic line-up — including Salman Rushdie, Fran Lebowitz, and fashion expert and reality TV star Tim Gunn.
Columnist Bret Stephens is the top-of-show interview guest.
Stephens was criticized for naysaying publicly and writing a New York Times op/ed about climate change, a topic Maher is rabid on.
He came under fire for telling people in Houston that “the paradox of our time is that the part of the world that has never been safer from the vagaries of nature seems never to have been more terrified of them”.
Fashion consultant, reality TV star and Liz Claiborne chief creative officer Tim Gunn is the mid-show interview guest. Gunn is on a mission to get fashion designers to think beyond making clothes up to a size 12.
The Project Runway judge is on a mission to expand body inclusivity in an industry that is resistant to play along.
He told USA Today: “Women want choices, they want to be able to just decide for themselves what they want to wear instead of having a limited number of items they can choose.”
Gunn’s message resonated with Project Runway’s network Lifetime, who are this season featuring models from sizes 0 to 22 on the show for the first time ever.
The roundtable guests are Real Time regulars — author, humorist and social commentator Fran Lebowitz and controversial author Salman Rushdie.
When asked by the New York Times who she would invite if she could organize a great literary dinner party and invite three dead or alive writers, Lebowitz deadpanned: “None. I would never do it. My idea of a great literary dinner party is Fran, eating alone, reading a book. That’s my idea of a literary dinner party.
“When I eat alone, I spend a lot of time, before I sit down to my meager meal, choosing what to read. And I’m a lot better choosing a book than preparing a meal. And I never eat anything without reading, ever.”
Less sardonic but certainly with an equal measure of humor is Rushdie, whose wit is often aimed at religious fundamentalists on Maher’s show.
His new book The Golden House (Random House) is set during the Obama presidency and is about a cryptic foreign family that moves to New York with changed names, deep pockets of cash and a sketchy past.
When asked by the Los Angeles Times about the Trump presidency and the idea of being American, he said: “Why are we splitting hairs when there’s a monster coming at us?”
Real Time with Bill Maher airs Fridays at 10pm live ET/tape-delayed PT, with a replay at midnight, exclusively on HBO.