Tonight, Comedy Central is making what is for them a pretty big leap in late-night, handing the reigns of their 11:30 p.m. Eastern timeslot over to a man in Larry Wilmore who is, despite his extensive experience in comedy writing and performing, a relative newcomer as the face of the show.
Is this really a risk, given that they did the same thing so many years ago to Stephen Colbert? Both yes and no. We feel like “The Nightly Show” is going to be given enough time to find an audience and a voice, which does not always happen with every show instantly. We would say that neither Jimmy Fallon nor Seth Meyers had stellar beginnings to their shows on NBC, but they have since bounced back and produced solid entries in the late-night world. Obviously, Comedy Central has more expectations for this slot than they did when they brought Colbert over from “The Daily Show,” but we feel like the right man is in place to meet them.
What Larry does well as a comic is that he never waters himself or his humor down to meet the demands of an audience. He is intelligent, but also still fun and charismatic. He’s a skilled conversationalist, and probably has more in common with Jon Stewart than Colbert did. We don’t get the sense that Wilmore is out to be a character here; instead, he will a panel that is somewhat a hybrid of Stewart and Bill Maher, but with a twist that is unique and his own.
This show is meant to be about underdogs. Therefore, the biggest thing we hope to see tonight is a focus potentially on stories and topics we don’t hear elsewhere. This, coupled with his own brand, is what will make Larry stand out immediately.
What do you want to see from Larry’s show tonight? Share with a comment, and head over here to get some further TV scoop on everything we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Comedy Central.)