Tuesday, August 16, 2016
I was so disappointed to learn today that Comedy Central is cancelling The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. His final show will be this Thursday.
In the past year or so, Comedy Central lost their two mainstays, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. These two ground-breakers reinvented late-night TV with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Their shows were topical, news-based combinations of political satire and media critique. And they were hilarious. Replacing both of them more or less simultaneously was a tall order, sort of like replacing Vince Lombardi and John Wooden at the same time. Following the legend is tough duty.
Relative newbie Trevor Noah took over The Daily Show, and the Colbert slot was renamed The Nightly Show and given to Wilmore, veteran comic and the "Senior Black Correspondent" on Stewart's Daily Show.
Both Noah and Wilmore are good, but I thought Wilmore's Nightly Show was the better of the two. He found his voice and his approach immediately -- an opening monologue on current events, a skit from his mostly black and Hispanic ensemble of comics, a table discussion including the guest celebrity, and the Keep It One-Hundred closing.
Comedy Central is doing their own un-blackening, and it's a big mistake.