“Tonightly, the Oscar nominations are out, and they’re so white a grand jury has decided not to indight them,” said Larry Wilmore in the debut of his new Comedy Central program, “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”
Filling in the gap of Stephen Colbert’s “The Colbert Report,” the first black political satirist to host a late night show has surfaced on Comedy Central. Best known in his appearances on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” as “Senior Black Correspondent,” Larry Wilmore has taken over the 11:30 p.m. time slot Monday through Thursday.
Within the 20 years of experience in his field, Wilmore has written for TV series such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The Office” as well as being a producer, actor and comedian in the span of his career.
In 2002, he was honored with an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.” Now as a new face in the realm of talk show hosts, Wilmore will join other hosts such as Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres to share his critical perspective and comedic take on pop culture and current events.
Although the show is more closely related to Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” Wilmore’s focus is geared toward issues that are imperative to people of color.
“All of the good ‘bad race stuff’ happened already,” said Wilmore, addressing the protests in 2014 such as Ferguson and the Eric Garner case.
With the same satirical commentary that makes “The Daily Show” more appealing regarding the address of controversial issues in the mainstream media, Wilmore highlights political issues in the point of view of multicultural individuals.
To make light of the issues that were discussed in his show, Wilmore mentioned that a “very powerful movie” was denied a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars. Of course, he was talking about “The Lego Movie.”
“How did The Lego Movie not get nominated for best picture? God, this was shocking,” Wilmore said.
“Selma,” the film featuring the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and the black civil rights movement, also did not get nominated for Best Picture.
“Oh, black people didn’t get nominated for an Oscar?” said Wilmore. “Yeah, I’m mad I guess.”
However, with this new angle, will Wilmore have the ability to entertain the evening audience in place of Stephen Colbert?
His mordantly racial commentary and discussion regarding black protests, beginning from the Montgomery Bus Boycotts to Ferguson, with additional commentary from his guests on the show present a pressing case in discussing the racist connotations that these events reveal.
“We are in a relationship with the police,” said Wilmore, discussing with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker about the black protests in 2014.
“We’ve got to get into a conversation that’s leading with love,” said Booker in response to Wilmore, discussing a way that the protests can create a form of political and social change.
With a panel of guests, much like other talk show hosts such as Chelsea Handler, Wilmore introduces a new tradition on his show: Keep it 100 percent Real.
He described it as white people’s version of “Truth or Dare” without the dare. Essentially, he would ask a yes or no question to his guests regarding the topic of the evening, in which the premiere of the show discussed black protests, and the guests would have to be “100 percent real” with their answer. This addition to the show reveals the truth about what some people may think about racial relations or honest opinions regarding controversial issues.
All in all, “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” provides a broad landscape of perspectives on the controversial political and pop culture issues that are current in the media.
Wilmore implements a voice for people of color in regard to issues that directly affect them. There are not many talk show hosts that profoundly discuss the problems that have risen from current American issues, such as the Ferguson protests, in a lens that welcomes the opinions of people of color.
Because of this, a wider audience containing more ethnic diversity can most likely join the immense realm of viewers that watch the daily and evening talk shows.
Before signing off, Wilmore thanked a friend of his: “A special tip of the hat and a wag of the finger to my buddy Stephen Colbert,” said Wilmore. “Thanks for making 11:30 p.m. special, my friend. Godspeed and good nightly.”
Watch out for more of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” airing Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. EST and streamed online at cc.com.