“In a crude sense, I call (The Nightly Show) a hybrid. If The Daily Show and Politically Incorrect had a kid, it would be The Nightly Show. That’s a fun way to think of it.” — Larry Wilmore
Last night, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore kicked off its run on Comedy Central with great reviews. It was funny, informative, and showed America some different viewpoints than we’re used to seeing on late night TV. Larry had his guests keep it 100 percent real.
A lot of folks might know Larry as the Sr. Black Correspondent on The Daily Show, but some might remember him from his work behind the camera.
I got a chance to visit the set of The Nightly Show last week, where I spoke with Larry about his new show and how he plans on finding his voice along the way.
“Me personally, it’s a big challenge for me to say ‘where do I want to sit right now – what parts of me do I really want to bring to this?’ We’re going to try to keep it one hundred as much as possible,” he said.
Larry revealed they aren’t going to “glamour book” (aka find the biggest names they can) to guest on the show. Instead, he wants to focus on the issue first before figuring out the right people to discuss it.
“We may be pulling real people onto the show,” he says. “We always want to have some comedians on the show too. We want it to be provocative and fun.”
“This is Larry’s barber shop. We get heated, but no one is ever threatened in the barber shop.”
“The show won’t pit right against left, but rather real against real.”
If you didn’t catch The Nightly Show last night, watch it tonight at 11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central. And check out a few fun facts about Larry Wilmore below…
In 1983, Larry Wilmore landed his first speaking role on the TV show The Facts Of Life. He played Officer Ziaukas, who served Ms. Garrett with a summons.
Larry wrote for shows like In Living Color, The PJs, Sister Sister, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Office, and more.
He’s also the creator of The Bernie Mac Show, but was fired after creative differences with Fox. In a 2003 article in Entertainment Weekly, Larry expressed his frustration with the network’s treatment of the show, complaining they frequently yanked it off the air.
“They’ll pull us for whatever reality show brings that 30 share,” he said. He also complained of creative interference: “We actually get notes where they say — and this is not an exaggeration or a reinterpretation — ‘No more poignancy.'”
Larry Wilmore’s work on Bernie Mac won the show an Emmy its first year on television.
His early stand-up didn’t fit into the hip-hop voice of the comedy explosion of the ’90s. He told me his comedy focused more on race and social issues. Here’s his set from a popular TV show in 1990 called Comic Strip Live:
The first time Larry met Bernie was on the set of Eddie Murphy’s show The PJs and the two comics hit it off immediately.
Larry told Bernie he would love to write something for him and then a few years later, Larry got the idea for The Bernie Mac Show.
In 2011, Larry Wilmore spoke at the Congressional Correspondent Dinner. He killed it.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube