A near-three-decade streak comes to an end on Friday night when comedian Bill Maher will miss a regularly scheduled TV hosting appearance.
Maher is out sick, having tested positive for COVID-19 and causing HBO to cancel this week’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.
Maher tweeted: “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 Maher.”
The host, who is 65, is vaccinated and asymptomatic but tested positive during HBO’s standard weekly PCR testing ahead of the show.
“Bill tested positive during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID,” an HBO spokeswoman told Deadline.
“He is fully vaccinated and as a result is asymptomatic and feels fine. Real Time production has taken every precaution following COVID CDC guidelines. No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time. The show will be rescheduled at a later date.”
Vanity Fair reported “Maher is now among the fully vaccinated people who have contracted what the CDC calls a ‘breakthrough case’ of the virus” and quoted the CDC website passage that says those who are vaccinated may find symptoms less severe.
Friday’s show was to include Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dan Carlin, the host of the Hardcore History podcast, according to Variety.
Real Time is recorded in Los Angeles, which moved to the yellow tier of its reopening.
Real Time with Bill Maher, in its 19th season on HBO, was the first major show to bring back a reduced-capacity live audience in September following the global lockdowns amid the pandemic.
Maher was also able to record several episodes in his backyard.