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Larry Wilmore Taking Colbert Report Time Slot

larry-wilmore

Larry Wilmore is getting a much-deserved promotion.

WaPo (“Larry Wilmore to take over Stephen Colbert’s time slot with ‘The Minority Report’ on Comedy Central“):

Comedy Central isn’t wasting any time — “Daily Show” correspondent Larry Wilmore will take over Stephen Colbert’s time slot in 2015, the network announced Friday night.

“The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” created and produced by “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, will debut next January after “The Colbert Report” wraps up for good this year, airing at 11:30 p.m. Colbert, of course, is heading over to CBS  to take over “The Late Show” from David Letterman in 2015.

Wilmore, 52, is a familiar face to “Daily Show” fans — he’s been on the late-night show since 2006 and currently serves as “Senior Black Correspondent.” In addition, Wilmore, a veteran comedy writer, co-created “The PJs” (the animated show with Eddie Murphy) as well as the Emmy-winning “Bernie Mac Show.” Fans of “The Office” might also recognize him as the guy who ran the “Diversity Day” seminar; he also served as a consulting producer on the NBC comedy series.

“While Larry Wilmore is a brilliant comic and showrunner, this is all just a complicated ruse to get him to move to New York and turn him into a Knicks fan,” Stewart said in the announcement. He will serve as executive producer with Wilmore.

Wilmore chimed in as well: “I’m beyond excited to have this chance to continue my relationships with Comedy Central and the brilliant Jon Stewart,” he said. “I love the city of New York and promise to only wear my Laker t-shirts when I’m layering.”

As the late-night shuffle has taken place over the last few weeks, speculation had ramped up as to whether Comedy Central would mix things up and diversify the predominantly white and male line-up across the late-night TV spectrum. That fact was not lost on the network: ”‘The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore’ will provide viewers with a distinct point of view and comedic take on the day’s news from a perspective largely missing in the current late night landscape,” the show description reads. “The series will feature a diverse panel of voices currently underrepresented in comedy and television.”

I don’t choose my entertainment for the diversity of its viewpoints or a sense of fairness but rather its entertainment value.  More than any of the remaining supporting members of the “Daily Show” cast, Wilmore manages to be consistently funny. Alas, maybe because he lives on the other coast, he’s on far too infrequently. His getting his own vehicle is great news.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Great news indeed! He is one funny guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. michael reynolds says:

    I’ve never found him funny. He may be a great writer, I don’t know, but his on-screen appearances are almost physically painful to watch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Agreed. I think he is funny, but his delivery is never great. I’ll give him a chance though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. I like Larry Wilmore a lot. although he tended to be more of a straight man, so I’m not sure if he’ll be able to hold a full half hour show on his own. Of the current full time correspondents Asif Mandvi would have been my choice to replace Colbert.

    I also worry that the title seems to indicate the show is going to focus largely on Wilmore’s race. Comedy Central has been unsuccessfully trying to recreate Chappelle’s Show for almost a decade now and considering how badly their last attempt at “Chapelle’s Show Meets The Daily Show” went, I worry how successful this one will be.

    Frankly I think Comedy Central has to be pissed Colbert waited until right after John Oliver left to announce he was leaving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Kylopod says:

    Wilmore was always one of my favorites of the DS correspondents, although his relative infrequency may have been part of the reason for his consistent quality (your shtick is less likely to get old if you do it less often I suppose). Though he did a lot of great bits, one of my favorites was Black Liberal Guilt, aired shortly after Obama’s election in 2008:

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/6h6att/black-liberal-guilt

    The question is whether he’ll continue to deal mostly with racial issues, as he did on the DS, or if he’ll diversify his range of topics. Either way, I’m betting he’ll do a decent job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. PJ says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Frankly I think Comedy Central has to be pissed Colbert waited until right after John Oliver left to announce he was leaving.

    I think you got the time-line confused.

    John Oliver announced he was leaving The Daily Show in November last year.
    Letterman didn’t announce that he was leaving The Late Show until April this year.
    And without Letterman leaving, Colbert wouldn’t have left The Colbert Report.

    If Comedy Central should be pissed, then it’s because it failed to keep Oliver after guest hosting for Stewart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. @PJ:

    Colbert knew he was going to be leaving to replace Letterman in 2015 as early as December 2012:

    http://mashable.com/2014/04/10/stephen-colbert-cbs-late-show-keep-name/

    Colbert and CBS just didn’t announce it publically until April.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. PJ says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Ok, didn’t know that.

    But then it all comes down to when Letterman decided to leave The Late Show, when he told his bosses, and if they told people at Viacom.
    Since Viacom and CBS are quite close, I doubt that all this was kept from Viacom.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Grewgills says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Colbert knew he was going to be leaving to replace Letterman in 2015 as early as December 2012

    I doubt he didn’t talk to Stewart about it in the interim if it had been building that long.

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