‘The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore’ Offers up Laughs — and Sincerity

The sign above the 50th Street train stop says it all: “The Nightly Show: Evenings at 11:30 p.m. after The Daily Show. No pressure.” With that two-word quip, The Nightly Show highlights what it does best: being as honest as it is clever. To fill Emmy Award-magnet Stephen Colbert’s former time slot – which just happens to be following 19- time Emmy winner Jon Stewart’s time slot – seems like a whole lot of pressure for a new comedy, yet The Nightly Show isn’t trying to fill anyone’s shoes or “replace” anybody. Instead, Larry Wilmore and his team are carving their lane through their own approach: sincerity. The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore is a breath of fresh air by being the most sincere new show in comedy… and it’s hilarious.

Black Nerd Problems sat down with three brilliant minds behind the show and asked them the tough questions the world wants to hear: Who rides with you in a zombie apocalypse?

(The answer: The zombie apocalypse team includes Richard Sherman, and four iterations of Samuel L. Jackson: Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson, Mace Windu Samuel L. Jackson, The Negotiator Samuel L. Jackson and Snakes on a Plane Samuel L. Jackson.)

The main man in front of the camera, Larry Wilmore, has been in comedy a long time, and you loved his work before you even knew it was him who wrote it. Since performing at talent shows in his teens and sneaking into comedy clubs underage where he once saw comedy legend Richard Pryor, Wilmore saw signs – “indicators,” he calls them – that comedy would be the passion he would pursue in his career. That decision led him to writing for classic comedy shows like In Living Color, and later becoming the creator, writer and executive producer of The Bernie Mac Show. Wilmore spent years behind the camera before deciding to step in front, and now with his own show, he’s bringing a new feeling of candor and endearment to news-based comedy.

“We are the transfer student that was bused in from another neighborhood that everyone’s getting to know,” Wilmore said on defining the identity of The Nightly Show

Keeping with the themes of the show, Black Nerd Problems tested Wilmore with a “Keep It 100” question:

BNP: Before a new Black character joins The Walking Dead, an old Black character has to be killed. If comedy were The Walking Dead, which Black celebrity would you kill for your show to be successful? Keep in mind: the success would be on par with the person you kill. So if you kill (Bill) Cosby, your show would adopt his current public disapproval.

“I love her to death; she’s my girl, but… sorry, I’m going to have to poison (TV director and producer) Shonda Rhimes’ tea.”

The boss of “Keep It 100” did just that, and, fortunately, Wilmore won’t have to slip Rhimes the nightshade for his show to be successful. With a strong start as host, along with endless opportunities for discussing topics and highlighting new perspectives on his notably diverse panels, The Nightly Show is getting comfortable in its home on Comedy Central. Kick back on the sofa and pay attention – I expect the “transfer student” team will have Emmys of their own.

Source: Jordan Calhoun. To read more about BNP’s interview with the masterminds behind the The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmoreclick here