Charged with the uncomfortable task of replacing The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show has committed itself to a panel format that will have a tether to the Sunday morning political talk shows. In doing this, Wilmore is putting a lot of faith into his guests to help carry the weight of the conversation, and with his first three guests that faith will surely be rewarded.
Bill Burr, rapper Talib Kwelli, and US Senator Cory Booker will sit in on Monday night’s premiere episode. But while it’s always good to start with your strongest and most buzzy show (and Burr has a habit of always saying something that gets people’s attention when he pops up on a late night show), the rest of the month sounds pretty interesting as well.
Other panelists set to show up throughout January include Amy Holmes, John Leguizamo, Jon Lovett, Kathleen Madigan, Soledad O’Brien, David Remnick, Frank Rich, Ilyasah Shabazz, Matt Taibbi, Baratunde Thurston, and Ali Wentworth.
As you can plainly see, Wilmore’s guest list isn’t chock full of movie stars that are plugging their latest project. Instead, it seems like The Nightly Show is going to focus on erudite minds and qualified speakers. Will that ultimately be good for the show’s pursuit of ratings? Time will tell, but it sure sounds like it might influence the quality of the conversation that we get to see, and that’s not a bad thing.