Larry Wilmore says anticipate the unexpected on his new speak sho

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore’.

FILE – In this Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, file photo, Larry Wilmore speaks on stage during Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” panel at the Viacom 2015 Winter TCA, in Pasadena, Calif. Last Monday the torch was passed on “Fashion Police” from the late Joan Rivers to Kathy Griffin, and promptly fizzled worse than vintage Chanel with distressed Chuck Taylors.Yes, says Larry Wilmore with mock seriousness, it is significant that his new late-night show on Comedy Central launches on the Martin Luther King holiday.

— A month after Stephen Colbert ended “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central introduces a successor series, which, like its predecessor, can be thought of as a spinoff of sorts from “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” Comedy writer/actor Larry Wilmore isn’t bringing over his “Daily Show senior black correspondent” exactly, but the new show’s original title, “The Minority Report,” coined by executive producer Jon Stewart, offers some idea of its areas of interest. Hopes are much higher for another torch-passing tonight, when Larry Wilmore settles into the late-night Comedy Central spot recently vacated by Stephen Colbert as Colbert preps to take over David Letterman’s show on CBS on Sept. 8.

At 53, he’s a highly respected figure in Hollywood writers rooms, helping to shape “The Bernie Mac Show,” “The Office” and the new ABC sitcom “Black-ish.” But aside from occasional appearances as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and a couple of Showtime specials, he’s unknown to the general public. That title is gone now — Fox is making a pilot for a TV series based on the 2002 Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report,” making a change necessary — and Mr.

And our show is kind of a cousin to discussion news: you know, George Stephanopoulos, ‘Face the Nation,’ ‘Meet the Press,’ that sort of thing.” In his eight-year “Daily Show” role, Wilmore, 53, affected a certain aloof incredulity. Ahead of the premiere of Wilmore’s new series, “The Nightly Show,” the comedian sat down with reporters Friday on his set to talk about the new show. Monday through Thursday. “Jon focuses on the events of the day; it’s more news-driven,” he says. “We’ll have some of that, but we’ll also go into more general areas. “I like to unearth something: What’s really under there? Through it all, he’s come off as a guy who is passionate and yet always manages to remain calm: “He’s quick-witted, affable and very funny,” says comedy writer Michael Price (The Simpsons), who worked with Wilmore on two shows, “but in the same cool, non-showy style he uses on The Daily Show and, I assume, he’ll use on The Nightly Show.” Wilmore’s unusual comedy style may have to do with the fact that although he started as a performer, he’s spent most of his career out of the spotlight as a writer-producer: “I was aware of Larry’s background in stand-up, and I knew he was also a fine magician, but he was always a writer to me,” Price says. After working on shows such as Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Wilmore was responsible for two comedies that broke new ground in technique and subject matter for African-American sitcoms.

But enter “Daily Show” boss Jon Stewart, who has become sort of a showbiz kingpin, boosting the careers of Steve Carell, John Oliver and, of course, Colbert, who takes over for David Letterman in September. Wilmore, who was just about to begin test shows when he spoke with reporters last week at the Television Critics Assocation winter press tour, was planning to break “Nightly” into several segments. That’s the biggest thing I learned from Jon, to keep attacking it, going at it.” Wilmore says he had always thought about doing a talk show, back to the days when he watched Johnny Carson. If you were impressed by Gina Rodriguez’s heartfelt acceptance speech at the Golden Globes and thought maybe you might want to check out her show, now’s your chance: “Jane the Virgin” returns for its winter premiere on the CW at 9 p.m.

And, in 2001, Wilmore created the family comedy The Bernie Mac Show, using cinematic, fourth-wall-breaking gimmicks that only a few sitcoms were trying at the time. The show risked a legal battle with owners of the title “Minority Report,” Steven Spielberg’s 2002 movie starring Tom Cruise. “We said forget it, let’s just not get in this fight.

But he’ll probably joke about it on the premiere anyway. “I had a dream that a brother needed to work on that day,” he said, teasing. “Yes, irony intended, completely. … There’s no symbolic importance to it or anything like that.” Mr. Jon always encouraged us to go deeper.” Jimmy Fallon, the new king of the pack, has created a high-octane party on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with goofy games, fawning interviews and ambitious musical numbers. I mean we were hearing from their lawyers all the time,” Wilmore said, adding, “I was going to call it ‘Meet the Rest,’ that was another name.” Arriving at the right blend of information and comedy is key for any late-night satirical news show. Some people might say certain demographic, too, which is a different story.” Wilmore says he’d love to see more diversity among talk hosts in general. “We need what women could bring to it,” he says. “I’d love to hear more of that.” He was a consulting producer on that show, but also appeared in the second episode as a diversity consultant. “I loved how understated and realistic he was, managing to get all the comedy out of his part while providing a calm and dignified foil for Steve Carell’s Michael Scott,” recalls The Office showrunner Greg Daniels. “His experience as a producer interacting with the top network executives gave him a feel for business behaviour.

The second part of the show will often revolve around a panel discussion deconstructing provocative topics. “No way our show can compete with ‘The Tonight Show’ for glamour booking. We have to have people who are going to make our show fun and funny and interesting.” The other unique aspect of the Monday-through-Thursday series is that it’s hosted by a black man, making him one of the few minorities in the game.

I’m expecting really good things.” That Wilmore is also black — not the first to host a late-night show, but the only one currently — is a change of pace in a landscape historically dominated by white men. Wilmore’s team also plans to feature personalities such as Mike Yard, Ricky Velez and Shenaz Treasury. “You just look, you just look,” Wilmore told the reporters surrounding him on his new set. “It’s as simple as that, you just look.

Price says that when he worked for Wilmore on The PJs, “we were taking on some big issues with the show, dealing with the black experience in America—the bleakness of HUD-era housing projects, systemic discrimination, interracial marriage, childhood obesity.” Wilmore urged his writers “to find the humour in these important ideas—to be smart and not go for the easy laugh.” That combination, of social conscience and smart comedy, is likely what he’ll be bringing to The Nightly Show—and all without talking very loudly. Let’s go find them.” “As a performer, just finding what my actual, you know, voice is,” Wilmore said, before shifting directions slightly. “Some people know me as the ‘senior black correspondent’ on “The Daily Show,’ or they might know me from my work behind the camera. It’ll go wherever it goes.” The intent is to “have a nice balance of both of those types of things, the scripted element and unscripted element,” Wilmore said. “We’ll have contributors on the show, not really correspondents, and they’ll do a variety of things. Through years of experience, he said, he knows that these kinds of shows don’t launch fully formed. “Some things you figure out sooner than others,” he said. “If you have a good relationship with the audience, they forgive you for things. So for me, personally, it’s a big challenge to say, ‘Ok, where do I want to sit right now, what parts of me do I want to bring to this?’” Wilmore has done multiple rehearsals in the lead-up to his premiere on Monday night, and he has found a few moments that he hopes will become trademarks of his show. “We had our last test show and it felt really good.

We want to get people on who are interesting to us and who seem like they fit in this conversation for that particular day.” “I’m more inquisitive. But on another, he is a black guy hosting a late-night talk show, and there is baggage that comes with that, particularly from the minority community. If something messes things up, I don’t mind being uncomfortable for a little bit because we may need to get to something that we didn’t know we were going to get to.

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