- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Bill Maher made his return to HBO’s Real Time on Friday night after missing two weeks of shows when he tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the disease.
Taking the stage, the host thanked those who wished him well while admitting, “I can’t oblige you — I never was sick. I felt nothing.”
The remarks were illustrative of his matter-of-fact attitude about testing positive despite being vaccinated.
“I’m sorry I missed the last two weeks. I didn’t want to — you heard this, they said I had COVID,” Maher said at the top of his monologue. “This is, you know, it’s like when you go to the Jiffy Lube and they show you the air filter, and you go, ‘OK, you’re the expert.'”
Indeed, Maher is fully vaccinated against the disease and, as HBO said when it was announced that the taping of his May 14 show would be canceled when he tested positive during weekly checks of the show’s staff, the host was asymptomatic and felt “fine.”
Maher echoed that sentiment in a tweet posted the day the news broke and another on May 21, when HBO noted that Real Time would be off again that night and set to return on May 28.
“Thanks to all wishing me get well – hard to do since I feel perfectly fine, but I appreciate it! Most upset about ending my streak going back to 1993 of never missing a Politically Incorrect or Real Time episode. Oh well, even Cal Ripken had to sit one out at some point,” Maher wrote on May 13.
Last week he apologized for missing another show and wrote, “I assure – and thank – all well-wishers I was never sick and feel great (undoubtedly the shot) and will be back next week.”
Onstage Friday night, Maher said the vaccine “probably” helped him not get sick.
“Did it help? Probably? I don’t know. We don’t know. Yes, probably. I don’t know,” he said. “You know, most people who got the thing never got very sick. Less than 4 percent went to the hospital — I know media doesn’t like to talk about that! It’s something to be respected? Obviously, yes. And so, good. The point is, I had it!”
He also marveled at people wondering how he could have tested positive if he was vaccinated.
“It happens! They never said it was 100 percent effective,” Maher said.
Maher went on to joke about how the same week he tested positive, a number of members of the New York Yankees tested positive despite being fully vaccinated. Maher quipped that the development supports his “theory that the virus comes from bats.”
“The last four years was a warning, not an inspiration,” Maher said of Donald Trump’s presidency. “You were supposed to see that and think, ’I guess high-level government jobs should go to people who have trained for it and know what they’re doing.’”
Johnson has mulled running for president while McConaughey is currently teasing a run for Texas governor. Quaid, a diehard Trump supporter, has speculated a run for California governor while Jenner is currently campaigning.
“I’m sure Caitlyn Jenner is a nice person, but as California governor, she would be in charge of the [world’s] fifth-largest economy based on her qualifications of being a background character in a reality show not about her,” he said of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star.
Maher concluded with: “Let me put it bluntly to you and all of these show biz candidates. You’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, and, doggone it, it completely doesn’t matter that people like you. They like you now because you’re an entertainer and thus largely uncontroversial. Governing is the opposite. If you think you can unite the country, you’re delusional.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day