The Nightly Show didn’t appeal to everyone, but I enjoyed it. I learned a lot from Larry Wilmore and the talented people he brought on the show. I got to hear from people who are normally only described as “black activists” in normal media coverage.
I’ve read lots of comments about the cancellation of the show and it seems to me that far too many of the ones that accuse Wilmore of not being funny quickly drift into racist language or simply accuse Wilmore of being a racist.
I’m about the same age as Wilmore and I don’t care who you are, you can’t grow up in this country without some of the inherent racism on either side rubbing off on you. I was raised by liberal parents, but I still find myself falling into patterns of thought that – when considered carefully – are racist. Watching the Nightly Show helped me learn that lesson.
Also, pointing out that our police seem to have a bad habit of killing brown people in situations where a white person wouldn’t even have been confronted, doesn’t make you racist. Race is still a problem in this country and that has become more apparent since we elected Obama. That seemed to bring all the latent racism out into the open. There’s a segment of our population that just can’t stand the idea that there’s an african-american running the country and doing it with grace, intelligence and maturity.
I think expecting anyone to match Colbert’s ratings is wishful thinking. There’s a good reason why Colbert is at the Tonight Show. I doubt Comedy Central will do better with whatever they plan to put in the spot.
As for all the people who believe that ratings should be the only arbiter of what’s on TV, do you really love what that particular metric has gotten us? Should we only have programs that appeal to the lowest common denominator? When you’ve got so many channels, you’d think we’d have some room for programs that might lag a little in ratings but help make us all better people. The Nightly Show was one of those rare gems that succeeded at making us think.
I hope Larry Wilmore is quickly given another show, this time on one of the major broadcast networks. I think he’s still got a lot to teach us, and we certainly have a lot to learn.