For nearly two decades, Real Time with Bill Maher has been among the political left’s preferred destinations for discussion, humor, and occasional outrage. Now, as the show returns to HBO for its 19th season, Maher finds himself contending with a much more business-as-usual version of Washington than he’s encountered in quite some time. Not that it’s tempered him—in the past few weeks, he has already mounted a vigorous defense of cannibalism fetishist Armie Hammer. Herewith, he reveals his key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker

App: Burner phone. Because you never know …
: One a.m. It used to be four a.m., so I’m trying. Any earlier, I feel like a farmer.
: One that doesn’t come.
: Wake and bake. Anything.
Car: Tesla. I had the first model. It was like crawling into a spaceship. Glad it grew up.
: Don’t be ridiculous.
: Tequila and stevia soda on ice.
Cocktail appetizer: Food wrecks your buzz. What a stupid question.
Drive: Mulholland when you’re drunk. Wait, that can’t be right.
: Onstage and doing stand-up, out of town.

“I thought I was helping.”

Friends: The ones who understand acceptance.
GIRLFRIEND: There used to be so many punch lines to this, and you can’t say any of them anymore. Political correctness is bad for comedy.
Hideaway: The tree that’s near … Well, then it wouldn’t be hidden, would it?
: The one that shows off my Tom Ford cuff links, because they cost a lot.
Last Meal: Who could possibly be hungry if you know it’s your last meal?
: Saving Private Ryan.
: Grant Absolution.
: Me. I bought the land next door.
Piece of advice
: “Always take your wallet onstage.”
: The Polo Lounge.
: “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”—duh.
Television series
: Any one about forensic vampires.
Time of day
: Three p.m. Sartre said it was “always too early or too late to do anything.”
: “Let’s knock the crows off the squares.”
: Black jeans, white shirt, dark sport jacket.
: Hawaii, New Year’s Eve. Please let that resume this year!
Wake-up time
: When my body says, “Enough sleep.”

Bill’s Essentials

Clockwise from top left: A.P.C. jeans; Hawaii, one of Maher’s preferred vacation spots; Jonathan Frid in Dark Shadows; Tom Ford cuff links; Jean-Paul Sartre.