After this weekend's announcement that Paul Ryan had been selected as Mitt Romney's running mate, Bill Maher took to twitter to slam the new vice presidential candidate. "First off, his plan is not 'brave' - its growth estimates based on magic beans plus f**k the poor/blow the rich. Not 'brave,'" he tweeted. "But thanks Mitt for not announcing VP till this week when I go back on the air - c u and ur boyfriend Friday night!"
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Real Time with Bill Maher is returning this Friday, and its timing (or Romney's) couldn't be better. HBO's political chat show, which gets deep into political issues without abandoning its comedic tone, will undoubtedly focus heavily on Ryan's nomination when it returns to the air this Friday. In fact, I'm rather looking forward to Maher's "Dispatches from the Bubble" more than ever, especially since the news has had nearly a week to really sink in.
But who will be joining Maher in his first show of the fall? Mark Cuban, Reihan Salam, and Alex Wagner were announced as his roundtable panelists on Wednesday. Cuban is the owner of the NBA team the Dallas Mavericks, and, as a big businessman, will represent the right on Maher's panel. Salam, a columnist for The Daily and a blogger at National Review, is also a conservative. He's also made appearances on Fareed Zakaria GPS, which might prompt a line of discussion about Zakaria's recent plagiarism scandal. Alex Wagner hosts the MSNBC series 'Now,' and is, of course, on the liberal side of the spectrum. Her position on gun control (she's for the abolition of the second amendment) might bring up some discussion of the Aurora, Colorado shootings from July.
Maher's interview guest (I can't tell from the press release if that's who he speaks to before introducing the panel or who he brings out to join the panel) is comedienne Chelsea Handler, host of E!'s Chelsea Lately and an all-around hilarious person.
There's usually a fifth guest on each episode (as I said, I can't tell which of two empty slots Handler is supposed to fill), but we'll keep you posted if any new guests are announced.
Real Time with Bill Maher will air its fall premiere live Friday, August 17, on HBO.