On January 19th, Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show will officially begin occupying the spot once held by The Colbert Report. But what can we expect from this program? Well, for the past eight years, Wilmore has given us countless brilliant commentaries on The Daily Show. These five bits represent the type of humor we’re likely to see Wilmore bring to his first hosting gig.
The N-Word – with John Oliver (2007)
This was the bit where Wilmore really established himself as a huge part of The Daily Show team, and it was a big moment for Oliver as well. When a politician wants to ban the n-word, the team of Wilmore and Oliver interview New Yorkers and get some hilariously awkward reactions. I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say that if you watch this clip, you will break into fits of highly uncomfortable laughter.
Herman Cain and the black vote (2011)
A little over three years ago, there was a brief, roughly two-week period of time when Herman Cain looked like a viable presidential candidate. Of course, that didn’t last once his long history of sexual harassment became a matter of public knowledge. At any rate, Wilmore pokes fun at the briefly-held notion that Cain would be the perfect candidate to beat Obama. A fun glimpse at a very short period in American history.
Larry Wilmore Hates Jeremy Lin (2012)
Before Jeremy Lin was slumming it on a sub-par Lakers team (ironically, Wilmore is a Lakers fan), he was breaking out with the Knicks during the height of Linsanity. In this clip, Wilmore expresses his disdain for Lin, and worries that his success will lead to black players being eliminated from basketball. When Wilmore attempts to say the phrase “Knickerbocker, please!” he can hardly get through it without cracking up. While this bit was all sarcasm, I do have to think that if Wilmore knew in three years Lin would be below Ronnie Price on the Lakers depth chart, this wouldn’t have worried him so much.
Rand Paul Comes To Howard (2013)
In 2013, Senator and person-who-would-really-like-to-be-President Rand Paul made a speech at historically black Howard University in which he more or less made the case for why African-American voters should switch to the Republican party. In this clip, Wilmore pokes some fun at the ridiculousness of the process, while claiming that after 50 years of being married to the Democrats, black voters “would like some strange.” Stewart responds incredulously when Wilmore compares Howard to Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, but as he points out, “it’s an historically black meal.”
A Diverse Array Of American Racism (2014)
This clip came in April 2014, when Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling were both frequently in the news cycle. As Wilmore puts it, “we got libertarian cowboy racism, we got old Jewish rich guy racism!” Well, he’s never one to mince words. Perhaps the best bit here is when he shuts down Sterling’s negative words about Magic Johnson by pointing out that “he’s so respected, even HIV doesn’t want to bring him down!” In the end, he reveals that his Lakers fandom is more important than anything else, suggesting that bringing Chris Paul to the Lakers is the only way to make things right.