HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher has shut down production and canceled this Friday’s show, after the host and comedian tested positive for COVID-19. Maher, who’s reportedly fully vaccinated, tested positive during the show’s weekly checks for the disease, and is exhibiting no symptoms. Per THR, he “Feels fine.”
And while there’s obviously a certain degree of schadenfreude at play in the idea of a guy who’s ragged fairly relentlessly on the medical profession and media for trying to warn people of the dangers of COVID catching the disease, the honest truth is that this is probably a textbook picture of how these cases will hopefully look as we move into a more fully-vaccinated future. As far as we can tell, all possible precautions were taken by HBO and the show’s producers, no one else was exposed, and Maher’s results were taken seriously, even though he had no symptoms. This is hopefully what it’s just going to look like, going forward, for Hollywood and the rest of us: Proper precautions, mitigated harm, and a reasonable level of respect for the threat still posed by the disease. This feels pretty wild to type out, but: Good job, Real Time With Bill Maher.
This Friday’s Real Time, which would have featured Neil deGrasse Tyson, Max Brooks, and Dan Carlin, will be rescheduled for a future date.