On the latest episode of Real Time, Bill Maher remembered Norman Lear, who died earlier this month at age 101, as someone who “opened a lot of doors” in television.

The host is preparing to head into his 22nd year of doing the late-night talk show, which got him thinking. He explained how the sitcom genius’ death put things in perspective for him because “without somebody like that, I couldn’t do what I do.”

“I think he opened a lot of doors, but a lot of those doors are shut,” Maher added. “TV is not what it was in the ’70s.”

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He proceeded to ask his guests, Laura Coates, a CNN anchor and senior legal analyst, and Walter Kirn, an American novelist and literary critic, if they thought people “could do anything like what he did back then because I don’t think you could?”

“Thinking about how he was able to connect so many different people – The JeffersonsGood Times, All in the Family, Maude, Facts of Life – you can go on with all he was able to do,” Coates responded. “But some of the most controversial shows we look back at the time, I don’t know that, as much as we’ve evolved as a society, we would have the same ability to do those shows without it ending on the cutting room floor and someone being afraid that too many folks would clutch their pearls.”

Lear was known for using humor to address racism and politics in his widely popular sitcoms.

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Earlier in Friday’s episode, Ray Romano also told Maher that an Everybody Loves Raymond reboot is “out of the question.”

The actor-producer-director said, “It’s out of the question because, unfortunately, his [Ray Barone’s] parents are gone: Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts (Boyle died in 2006 and Roberts in 2016,” and reboots are “never as good, and we want to leave with our legacy with what it is.”

Maher applauded him for not remaking the hit ’90s sitcom, saying, “You never went for the reboot. You had one of the most successful sitcoms in television,” and Romano agreed, adding that he wanted to end on a high note.

“The rest of the cast was happy to go on, but myself and [showrunner] Phil Rosenthal … we felt it was time,” he said.

Real Time with Bill Maher will return on Jan. 19.

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