Albert Brooks and Rob Reiner Get Real With Bill Maher On ‘Real Time’


It was the Thanksgiving show for Bill Maher‘s Real Time, typically his last show of the fall season before a hiatus. But because of the Writers Guild strikes, the show will go on into December.

That’s reason enough to be thankful. But Maher had an added reason for grace on Friday’s show – he had the comic geniuses of Rob Reiner and Albert Brooks, whose masterful storytelling and energy allowed Maher the privilege of sitting back and simply basking in their glow.

The duo were out in support of their new HBO documentary, Albert Brooks: Defending My Life. But they really didn’t need the excuse of a project to propel things. Fast friends since high school, the conversation flowed easily about their long association with little prompting.

Brooks remembered their first meeting. Seeking to impress, Brooks blurted out that he knew Carl Reiner. Of course, Rob Reiner said, he did, too. “That’s my Dad.” And Brooks recalled, “And I’m a stupid f***.”

Rob Reiner remembered how young Brooks could even make comedy legends laugh, coming over to the Reiner house and doing bits like, “I’m the greatest escape artist in the world.”

The chat explored their time sharing a house in Benedict Canyon, which apparently saw a parade of young women visit.

“Whenever I brought a girl over, we’d have our fun,” Reiner recalled. “And the minute we were done, the phone would ring. it would be Albert and he’d say, “Are you finished yet? You wanna go get something to eat?”

Brooks said Reiner was “like the Atomic Clock in Boulder, Colorado,” in his precision. “It was exactly 40 seconds.”

The rest of their time was similarly filled with anecdotes about girls, Steven Spielberg, and how Brooks turned down the permanent hosting gig for Saturday Night Live.

This week’s panel discussion included Donna Brazile, Georgetown University professor and Emmy and Peabody award-winning media contributor to ABC News, USA Today, and The Hill; and Adam Kinzinger former Republican Congressman from Illinois and author of Renegade: Defending Democracy and Liberty in Our Divided Country.

Brazile dominated the chat, having the rare ability to put Maher back on his heels with sassy comments. The conversation ranged from Trump to young voters to TikTok during their time.

Maher’s editorial New Rules begged people not to blurt opinions on topics they don’t understand. It was the perfect message for those facing that sort of confrontation at next Thursday’s Thanksgiving table.

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