Bill Maher Plans Late Night-Inspired Podcast With Comic Matt Friend

Bill Maher’s podcast network continues to expand, and its latest project aims to bring a little late night to the podcast world.

Variety reports that Maher’s Club Random Studios has signed “Friend in High Places,” a new podcast hosted by comedian Matt Friend, with a launch planned later this spring.

Friend—best known for his impressions of figures like Donald Trump and Howard Stern—is a prime example of a comedian who found wide exposure on social media. He currently boasts over 470k followers on Instagram, 47k on Twitter, and 1 million on TikTok. Friend has gone viral appearing on The Howard Stern Show (as Stern), performing impressions on award show red carpets, and meeting David Letterman on the street (again as Stern).

The 25-year-old comic (and former intern for Fallon’s Tonight Show) has cited Johnny Carson as an early influence on his comedy, and it seems that influence might show through on “Friend in High Places.” Friend told Variety that his series is inspired by late-night talk shows. ““There will be politics, but it’s going to be lighter,” Friend told Variety. ““There will be a variety showcase element to it where I might do a topical sketch or comment on something in the news, but at the same time I’m going to be having longer conversations with actors and athletes and politicians.”

Friend points to Fallon as an example of someone who has built a multifaceted variety show around more than just his signature impressions. 

“Part of the mission for the Club Random Studios network is giving new talent the platform they deserve,” Maher said in a statement alongside Friend’s signing. “And no one deserves it more than Matt.”

Club Random Studios, built off the success of his own Club Random podcast, was launched by Maher in March. Led by Maher, Chris Case, and Chuck LaBella, the network has already signed Billy Corgan, Kevin Garnett, Sage Steele and Fred Durst to host shows.

Maher isn’t the first late-night host to start his own podcast network. Since leaving his TBS show in 2021, Conan O’Brien has been focused primarily on his own podcast network, which Sirius XM acquired in 2022 for $150 million, signing O’Brien himself to a five-year contract. 

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