Bill Maher jokes about ‘Overtime’ debut on CNN: ‘Did they go nuts?’


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Longtime HBO host Bill Maher feigned shock as his post-show segment “Overtime” made its debut as a standalone program on CNN.

“Overtime,” the extra segment in which Maher and his weekly HBO “Real Time” guests answer questions from the audience, aired for the first time at 11:30 p.m. ET as part of last Friday’s episode of “CNN Tonight.”

“Are we really on CNN now? CNN, what, did they go nuts for putting us on there?” Maher said. “No, I’m thrilled. The world needs a good CNN, so I’m very happy that we can help out any way we can.”

CNN announced last week that “Overtime” would air weekly in its Friday night primetime lineup. At the time, the network said the “Overtime” setup “joins several other recent partnerships between HBO and CNN.”

HBO and CNN share the same parent company, WarnerBros. Discovery.

Bill Maher is host of HBO’s “Real Time.”

Prior to debuting on CNN, “Overtime” had aired as an upload on YouTube and as an extra feature on the “HBO Max” streaming service.

A longtime critic of conservative politics, Maher has gained a larger following in recent years while calling out the “woke” movement within the Democratic Party on subjects such as “cancel culture” and education.

CNN’s decision to air “Overtime” drew a sharp response from left-wing critics. One detractor, “Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur, accused Maher of “propping up right-wing culture war talking points” and having a “smug face.”

Bill Maher
CNN is reportedly seeking a late-night comedian to boost its primetime ratings.

The debut edition on CNN lasted for roughly 10 minutes and featured Maher alongside New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and former Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

During the segment, the guests discussed police brutality in the wake of the murder of Tyre Nichols, as well as the Democratic Party’s efforts to connect with voters, among other topics.

CNN is in the midst of an overhaul by network president Chris Licht, who has aimed to steer the traditionally left-leaning network toward centrist, non-partisan programming since he took over last year.

Last month, Semafor reported that Licht was seeking to hire a late-night comedian to help boost CNN’s daily primetime ratings. Maher, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah and Arsenio Hall were among the names floated as possibilities for the gig.

“They’re looking for their version of John Oliver,” a source told Semafor, in a reference to the British comedian who hosts his own show on HBO.

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