In a move that will come as a surprise to no one, HBO has suspended production of both Real Time With Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver amid the coronavirus pandemic. It is unknown when the late night talk shows will return.
The pair come as nearly the last to announce halted production due to CV, with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and Late Night With Seth Meyers all shutting down earlier this week according to statements from NBC and CBS.
Maher announced the news live in his audience-free studio during Thursday night’s show, stating he has “never seen events move faster than during this last week,” before confirming, “We are off next week.” The host elaborated, “We had a hiatus week scheduled in about two weeks, but we said let’s do it next week since everyone is freaking out and we want to see where this goes.”
Oliver will have a shortened show Sunday, before beginning his own hiatus. The late night host has not made any comments regarding the news.
Maher’s monologue rifted on the situation, noting “This country went from zero to crazy in about three seconds this week,” before joking that “Surreal time is what we’re renaming this show,” and audience may “notice the sound is a little different because we are trying to be on the safe side here and people don’t want come, around me, I could be the carrier.”
The host then got serious ending his last segment for the foreseeable future questioning, “[A]re we being overly cautious? Yes, but appropriately so, we don’t know what this is yet.” He wrapped quickly, ending with “That’s our show, hopefully not our season!”
No announcement has been made as to when Real Time With Bill Maher or Last Week Tonight With John Oliver will return from hiatus. To watch how Oliver reacts in his last episode for the time being, Last Week Tonight will air Sunday at 11:20 PM EST.