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The Daily Show in the era of Jon Stewart was consistently one of the funniest shows on television. Not only could Stewart be counted upon to bring the laughs in every episode, but he also introduced the world to some hysterical fake news correspondents. One of the best was definitely Larry Wilmore, whose deadpan delivery and fearless appearances as the Daily Show’s Senior Black Correspondent made him unforgettable. Now the host of The Nightly Show on Comedy Central, Wilmore still remembers the advice from Stewart that helped him become the comedian that he is today.
On my first show I was very nervous – my first Daily Show. He said to just look in the camera and fucking give it to America. That was awesome and calmed me down.
Wilmore’s reveal via Reddit AMA that he had some serious nerves before his first time on The Daily Show makes a lot of sense. After all, joining Jon Stewart’s series was going to catapult him into the public eye, and viewers are not always kind to new faces on favorite shows. Wilmore had found his earlier comedic success mostly behind the scenes on The Bernie Mac Show and Whoopi. Luckily, Stewart’s advice did the trick, and Wilmore became a key member of the team in front of the camera at The Daily Show starting in 2006.
Larry Wilmore left The Daily Show in order to headline The Nightly Show in the slot formerly occupied by The Colbert Report after Stephen Colbert left to host The Late Show on CBS. It was a blow to The Daily Show to lose Larry Wilmore and Jon Stewart in quick succession, but The Nightly Show has been a staple of Comedy Central since its premiere in 2015.
The Nightly Show didn’t sail smoothly right away. The name had to be changed from The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore when Fox produced a series called The Minority Report - which ultimately flopped. Still, in recent weeks Wilmore has settled more nicely into his role as host.
Jon Stewart’s magic touch extends beyond bringing Larry Wilmore to the limelight. Others of his past fake news correspondents have made it big on the comedy circuit outside of Comedy Central. Highlights are John Oliver as the face of Last Week Tonight on HBO and Samantha Bee as host of her new series Full Frontal that premiered on TBS on February 8.
On the whole, Larry Wilmore’s success on The Nightly Show is especially impressive. The Colbert Report was a beloved series with a loyal fanbase, and replacing it with another comedy talk show meant that the newcomer faced some high expectations. Fortunately, Wilmore and The Nightly Show have fit in perfectly in the weeknight lineup on Comedy Central and hopefully will continue to do so a long time.
The Nightly Show airs Monday – Thursday at 11:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.