Bill Maher Tests Positive For COVID-19 Despite Being Fully Vaccinated, 'Real Time' Cancels Upcoming Taping
Bill Maher has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing HBO to cancel the Friday, May 14, taping of Real Time With Bill Maher.
In a statement, HBO confirmed the comedian tested positive during the weekly PCR testing while stating he is "fully vaccinated" and "as a result is asymptomatic and feels fine."
"Real Time production has taken every precaution following COVID CDC guidelines," the statement insisted, noting: "No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time. The show will be rescheduled at a later date."
The now-canceled late-night Friday episode was set to have guest appearances from astrophysicist and "StarTalk" podcast host Neil deGrasse Tyson, World War Z author Max Brooks and "Hardcore History" podcaster Dan Carlin.
Maher — whose Real Time with Bill Maher show is in its 19th season — took to Twitter after news broke, expressing his upset with ending his long streak of never missing an episode of Politically Incorrect or Real Time. His impressive streak goes back to 1993.
As a host, the 65-year-old unapologetically discusses politics and pop culture, as well as shares his opinions on controversial media figures such as Sharon Osbourne and Kellyanne Conway.
"Thanks to all wishing me get well — hard to do since I feel perfectly fine, but I appreciate it!" he wrote, adding that he is most upset about the end of his streak. "Oh well, even Cal Ripken had to sit one out at some point."
Maher's HBO series is the latest show to face a pandemic-related shut down. The entertainment industry was put on hold amid the start of the pandemic, but has slowly begun filming projects again while following strict COVID-19 protocol.
Real Time with Bill Maher was one of the first major shows to bring back a small live audience in September. Prior to its comeback, Maher hosted a number of episodes in his own backyard. However, apart from Maher's show, dozens of other productions have had to shut down after a cast or crew member tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, entertainment isn't the only industry suffering right now.
As OK! reported, MLB confirmed on Thursday, May 13, that New York Yankees player Gleyber Torres tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated. In a statement, they said he was the eighth individual on the team, along with coaches and staff, this week to test positive following their Johnson & Johnson vaccination in March and April.