Last week we told you that Real Sports was replacing the Bryant Gumbel monologue with segments from HBO’s rotation of comedic personalities. The shift from Gumbel’s commentary to focusing on the lighter side is a big transition for Real Sports, but one done in hopes of reaching and cultivating a younger audience. That transition kicked off in full with Bill Maher providing his “New Rules for Real Sports” on this week’s edition. Maher begins with a few non-topical jokes before somewhat predictably ending with a mini-monologue villainizing sports for villainizing weed.
The host of Real Time is just one of many notable comedians that Real Sports will employing for the new comedy segments. Chris Rock, Lewis Black, and Susie Essman are scheduled for future editions. (Hopefully John Oliver isn’t too far behind.) Time will tell if this works for Real Sports as it’s a major departure from the tone of the rest of the show.