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Comedy Central's late night comedy block has gone through some major changes in recent years with the departures of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Soon after, veteran Daily Show correspondent Larry Wilmore stepped up to fill the Colbert Report time slot with The Nightly Show. Unfortunately, fans of Wilmore's unique brand of comedy got some bad news recently with the cancellation of The Nightly Show. The good news now is that Wilmore will have a very special guest for the finale: former Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
Larry Wilmore got his big break into the political comedy circuit when he joined The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a correspondent back in 2008, so it's only fitting that Stewart will show up on the farewell episode of The Nightly Show. Wilmore has successfully made The Nightly Show his own rather than crafting an 11:30 p.m. copy of Stewart's Daily Show, but his Daily Show roots show in some of his funniest segments. The announcement of Stewart's guest spot (via The Nightly Show's Twitter account) is a good reason to get excited about a sad development.
The Nightly Show host has already come out and expressed his gratitude to Jon Stewart for his role in advancing his comedy career. Larry Wilmore also admitted that he wishes that he could have stuck around to continue coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign season. I have to agree with him on that point. Comedy Central has always been one of my favorite retreats when the political news cycle gets too crazy. It's too bad that he didn't get just a little bit longer on the air to try to grab some higher ratings during election season.
The Nightly Show has been on the air for the past year and a half, and it hasn't managed to capture the same numbers as The Colbert Report that previously occupied the 11:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday time slot. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert put together a killer comedy block with a certain format for nearly ten years. Longtime fans of Comedy Central's political commentary hour might not have been willing to give the new show a chance in Colbert's old slot. The 11 p.m. slot stayed a little more similar when Trevor Noah stepped in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. The Nightly Show just wasn't a Colbert Report 2.0. The cancellation of The Nightly Show is a sad turn of events for those of us who grew to love Wilmore as host of his own show, but it's hard to blame Comedy Central if the numbers just weren't what the network was looking for.
Possibly the biggest bummer of the news of The Nightly Show's cancellation was that only a few episodes were left. The final installment of Larry Wilmore's show actually airs tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. Fans usually get more than four episodes after a series officially gets the axe. Hopefully Jon Stewart's appearance in tonight's finale will help The Nightly Show go out with a bang.
Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to catch on the small screen in the near future.