Bill Maher Addresses N-Word Gaffe on Real Time: 'Thank You for Letting a Sinner In Your Midst'

Bill Maher wasted no time tackling the elephant in the room on Friday’s Real Time.

Quick refresh: Maher incurred widespread wrath last week when, midway through his Real Time interview with junior senator Ben Sasse, he uttered the N-word. (Watch video of the gaffe by clicking here.) The following morning, HBO released a strongly worded statement condemning the former Politically Incorrect host’s crack, which was soon followed by Maher’s own mea culpa.

Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn’t have said on my live show,” Maher said at the time. “Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry.”

On Friday’s Real Time, Maher kicked off the live broadcast by telling the enthusiastic studio audience, “Thank you for letting a sinner in your midst.” He then quickly segued to current events, specifically Thursday’s James Comey hearing. “There’s someone who had a worse week than me…” Maher said, referring to President Donald Trump.

Maher’s first guest on Friday’s show was Georgetown University professor and author Michael Eric Dyson, who stepped in for Al Franken after the senator cancelled his appearance in the wake of the N-word dustup. “I did a bad thing,” Maher conceded to Dyson. “For black folks, that word has caused pain. I’m not here to do that. That’s why I apologized freely, and why I reiterated it tonight.”