A Practical Guide to Overtime Questions

by Miles Leicher

 

Did you know that it's possible to submit your Overtime questions all week long?  Because it is.  Just visit www.hbo.com/billmaher and ask away!

Actually, that's the easy part.  The trickiness is actually getting your question read on air.  And what better way of doing that, than to follow the advice of the guy who picks them?  All together now: "There's no better way!"

Let's get started.

Shorter is better.
At least that's what girls tell me.  Overtime typically only lasts for about five minutes and we'd like to spend as much time as possible answering your questions and as little time possible asking them.  So imagine that you're "tweeting" the question, only using proper grammar and as few #hashtags as possible.

Make sure it ends with a question mark?
"I don't trust the Russians, doing whatever they want, alone, up in the Space Station..." is as hilarious as it is worrying, but it's not going to make the show.  Sorry.

Also, any post that begins, "This is more of a statement than a question..." won't be considered.  Because it isn't a question.

Avoid hypotheticals and conspiracy theories.
The best discussions come from debating current events that are affecting us today.  Not, "What would Egypt be like if Matthew Perry were in charge?"  Okay, bad example; that's an awesome question.  Just try to keep it grounded in reality.

Similarly, while we're sure 9/11 was actually an inside job, we won't be talking about it here.  There are lots of other message boards for that.

It's not tech support, or "Ask Jeeves."
"hey i am trying to watch the Pacific but i dont hear any audio...whats the problem?"

I don't know.

"Who in the hell is the Democratic National Committee Chair?"

Ask Jeeves.

"What...is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

African or European?

Please, don't insult Bill.
It's not nice.  And he won't see it anyway.

DO address questions to specific guests.
Overtime is a great time to ask Real Time panelists questions about their areas of expertise.  As long as we don't discuss it on the show and it's not too personal, there's a good chance your question will make the cut.

Never give up!
There are always more awesome questions than we have time for, so don't get discouraged if yours doesn't get picked.  Come back next week and ask another one.  I'll be waiting.