The first casualty of the new late-night wars
August 15, 2016 8:12 AM   Subscribe

"In the midst of a wild and unpredictable presidential campaign, Comedy Central is upending its late-night lineup and canceling Larry Wilmore’s show." "The cancellation makes Mr. Wilmore, 54, an early casualty of a television late-night comedy slate that has been vastly reordered over the last two years. With the retirement of David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert’s move from Comedy Central to CBS, a series of new hosts have stepped into the spotlight, including James Corden, Samantha Bee and Mr. Noah. Jimmy Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Show,” has most formidably filled the power vacuum left by his predecessors, with the highest ratings of any late night show."

Well, he never forgot about that motherf*cker, presented the world with national treasure Mike Yard, and always kept it 100.

Previously on the blue.
posted by General Malaise (71 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

The unblackening continues....
posted by Pendragon at 8:18 AM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

Somebody high up at TBS said recently that he'd put Samantha Bee on five nights a week if she'd let him. She's not interested so maybe one of those nights can go to Wilmore.

(in maybe a slightly different format for weekly consumption as Nightly never quite clicked like it should have 9 times out of 10)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:21 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

For the time being, Comedy Central’s 12 a.m. show, “@midnight,” will replace “The Nightly Show” at 11:30 p.m.

OK, that can't be legal.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:21 AM on August 15, 2016 [13 favorites]

I liked Larry's show best in his genre. I'm still bothered that CC canceled UCB, this adds to my grievances.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 8:23 AM on August 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

Somebody high up at TBS said recently that he'd put Samantha Bee on five nights a week if she'd let him.

I'd watch a 24/7 Samantha Bee channel, tbh
posted by duffell at 8:23 AM on August 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

I have to somewhat believe that Noah's day's may be numbered as well. Not that anyone was going to make an easy transition into Stewart's seat but considering the absurdity of this election cycle and the unending pipeline of material I'd expect to have a lot more "must see" Daily Show clips in my various news feeds then what I'm seeing.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:23 AM on August 15, 2016 [30 favorites]

Well, it had to happen. Virtually no one could have followed Colbert at the same level of success (in ratings and in cultural impact), and I'm sure Wilmore knew that he was "the guy after the guy".

(And don't think Trevor Noah doesn't know the same thing.)

posted by Etrigan at 8:23 AM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Mr. Wilmore’s ratings have fallen off even more significantly, and he has lost more than half the audience that he inherited. In Mr. Colbert’s final year as host of “The Colbert Report,” he had an average audience of 1.7 million viewers, but in Mr. Wilmore’s first year, that viewership fell to an average of 922,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. This year, the total has fallen to 776,000 viewers a night.

Colbert had a sizable following that thought his schtick was more of a wink and a nod to conservative values. As in he may make it seem ridiculous, but he's really one of us. Larry Wilmore's show did not play to that demographic at all.
posted by Badgermann at 8:27 AM on August 15, 2016 [8 favorites]

It's too bad because I like Larry Wilmore in theory and wanted to like his show but I hated that panel format. Like every 4 seconds it would sound like one of these smart funny people was about to say something smart and funny and then they'd get cut off. By someone else about to say something smart and funny - until they get cut off too. At least on @midnight they have buzzers so people can say what they're gonna say.
posted by bleep at 8:29 AM on August 15, 2016 [29 favorites]

When Colbert announced he was leaving 11:30 on Comedy Central for 11:35 on CBS, I felt bad for whoever took that slot--it would have to appeal and gain a totally different demographic. While Wilmore's show was quite interesting, he basically has five minutes to prevent folks from flipping. I confess I'm part of the problem: I followed Colbert, even as it has reduced how much sleep I get.

That said, "The Nightly Show" was definitely a different voice, but it had huge shoes to fill from the "Colbert Report," and probably suffered from the combination of competing against Colbert along with a weaker "Daily Show."

Others have suggested a weekly Wilmore, along the lines of Samatha Bee. That, along with some tweaks to the format, might really work.

I have to somewhat believe that Noah's day's may be numbered as well.

I'm becoming increasingly convinced of that. While I appreciate the perspective he brings, he just doesn't have the gravitas that Stewart did. He simply seems too light for the material. Further, none of the correspondents have filled the shoes of the crew that left. That said, I suspect they'll stick with Noah for another year to see what happens.

The question is, will they cancel "The Daily Show" straight up, or find a new host? Who could fill the shoes who's not already spoken for?
posted by MrGuilt at 8:36 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bummer. I like that it was a real door opener for black and Latinx comedians. I love Mike Yard. I also love Robin Thede and some of the other regulars. Hope they find new places to showcase their talent.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:36 AM on August 15, 2016 [8 favorites]

This is disappointing. Especially the part about the Tonight Show having huge ratings, because that means I'm probably never going to stop seeing clips from that show in my FB feed.
posted by palomar at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2016

It's too bad because I like Larry Wilmore in theory and wanted to like his show but I hated that panel format.

Yeah, the chit-chat panel format is terrible. It's like they were trying to go for the tone of Real Time with Bill Maher via the loose "subject: discuss" format of Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, never realizing that those two shows are structured very differently, and if you try to get the former via the latter, you just end up with another clone of The View.

The worst part is that Larry Wilmore's greatest strength is as a writer, and a panel show doesn't make much use of that.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:52 AM on August 15, 2016 [11 favorites]

Sucks, but... dunno, predictable? The format was not suited for a 22 minute show (as I've griped a number of times already, so won't go into detail again), and I'm betting Noah isn't giving enough of a lead-in. I hope CC or TBS give Mike Yard a shot at anything he wants to develop. He was by far the MVP of the show. Larry too - the problem was the format, not him.

The question is, will they cancel "The Daily Show" straight up, or find a new host? Who could fill the shoes who's not already spoken for?
Moot now, but I thought the best way to arrange their late night block was a 45 minute Nightly. You could have Larry doing the usual stand-up bit and a bit on the topics of the day, and a panel to discuss the lead (only with much less time constrictions).
posted by lmfsilva at 9:05 AM on August 15, 2016

I stopped watching The Nightly Show, but when I did watch, I thought the show was twice as funny anytime Mike Yard was on.
posted by Catblack at 9:06 AM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

The question is, will they cancel "The Daily Show" straight up, or find a new host?

The line of people wanting to be the guy after the guy after the guy will be much longer and sharper.

Samantha Bee only signed to do Full Frontal through the end of 2016 (and I can't imagine TBS not wanting to throw money at her, given that they're buying Conan years at a time). Though she's said she doesn't want to do four days a week, who knows whether she'll change her mind now that her youngest is in school.
posted by Etrigan at 9:12 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's too bad because I like Larry Wilmore in theory and wanted to like his show but I hated that panel format.

Nthing that sentiment. I'd love to watch Wilmore talk to somebody for twenty minutes, but the way the panel format worked out in practice -- I don't know if this is an intrinsic problem with the format, or just with their implementation of it -- it felt like instead of having different panelists add to and deepen the conversation, it became a source for interjections that kept the show from addressing more than surface-level issues, even on interesting topics.

I wish they'd given him a chance to reboot the show in another format, basically, rather than canceling it; but I say that without knowing if Wilmore would actually be interested in doing that.
posted by cjelli at 9:27 AM on August 15, 2016 [8 favorites]

I think it's a shame that Wilmore is being cancelled simply because it isn't attracting the 18-34 demo on the levels that CC wants it to. It's a sharp show and I think it's probably aimed at an older audience, and so now it's "the kiddos" who are the reason we can't have nice things.

Also, if you think the show is only panel discussion for a half-hour, you haven't watched in quite a while. It's not been that for a long time.

I also think that Noah sort of started to come into his own in a major way during the live convention shows. Actually, I think Noah is beginning to find his voice, and it's just as sharp as Stewart's ever was, only it's from a different perspective. I had more than one pumping-my-fist-in-the-air celebratory "holy shit he actually said that" moments during the past month of Noah that I had since he started, because he's finally starting to come into focus in a good way.

I'm sad to see Wilmore go. And while I like @midnight, it's entirely NOT in the same vein of show at all. We need more sharp comedy/satirical news analysis, not less.
posted by hippybear at 9:29 AM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

but I say that without knowing if Wilmore would actually be interested in doing that.
Larry probably wanted Nightly to be a platform for different voices, and a panel would theoretically be a good way of achieving that. In practice, it was 4/5 persons (inc. Larry) around a table with less that 2 minutes each to say something funny or of substance.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:34 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also, if you think the show is only panel discussion for a half-hour, you haven't watched in quite a while. It's not been that for a long time.

That's fair and I probably haven't watched in awhile but I have flipped to and flipped away a lot and not that long ago.

But yeah the other thing is that demographic. Do 18-24 year olds even watch tv? Not to my knowledge?
posted by bleep at 9:35 AM on August 15, 2016

Poster here, and I've got some #opinions and #takes that I've been struggling to get into coherent writing form.

This news is disheartening and depressing. I've long believed that Nightly was the best late-night show of the new crop. And it's been vital to have a show starring almost completely PoC* over the past couple of years, covering Ferguson, Baltimore, Flint, etc. And, while every other late-night show has gone full-throttle-election coverage, Nightly has been covering other important stories as well, like, racism in the Baltimore police department and remember Flint?

(* I've also thought it's been great seeing Roy Albanese, as the white guy in the cast, playing the part of "I don't have the perspective to really talk about this, so I'm going to make a quick joke and shut up and listen." As much as we need to see diverse discussion on TV, we also really need to see white dudes shutting the f*ck up and listening.)

While Larry really started to shine in the past couple of months (it did take a bit for him to seem relaxed, which also afflicted Colbert if you watch his early episodes), his cast was outstanding. It was great to see an outlet for outstanding talents you don't see on other shows like Robin Thede and Holly Walker—I'd seriously watch a show that just featured them, tbh. And Mike f*cking Yard. I can't wait to see what he does next.

I actually really liked the panel format. Having 4-5 diverse people discussing a major issue, even briefly, is not seen on any other major television program, and easily trumps the interview-with-guy-in-movie that takes place everywhere else. I was a little sad, though, when they dispensed with the Keep it 100 segment everyday.

I also really feel that Larry filled that moral-outrage void left by Jon Stewart. I mean, Trevor's fine, but he's obviously more a dick-joke comedian that an outrage comedian. And that's fine. But Jon got us through GWB, and Larry, for me at least, has been getting us through the current crop of crises. And that's going to be missed.

I guess not enough white 18-34 year old white dudes wanted to watch a black dude and his friends do funny things and point out bad shit nobody's point at, and that's too bad. Or, really, I guess it's unfair to compare a basic cable late night show's ratings against three broadcast shows featuring the most talented hosts in decades. The question, I guess, is if Comedy Central really can operate in that space now. At least the Daily Show is up against local news. I also wouldn't be surprised if @midnight's ratings boost is because it comes on when the broadcast late-night shows go to interviews.
posted by General Malaise at 9:36 AM on August 15, 2016 [15 favorites]

I honestly didn't even know he had a show. I don't watch CC very much but usually ambiently aware of whats going on due to people sharing clips etc
posted by Damienmce at 9:37 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

No Robin Thede? No Grace Parra? No Mike Yard? Nooooooooooooo......
posted by Mogur at 9:40 AM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've missed very few eps of Wilmore since it started but truth be told, once Colbert came on we always threw Nightly and @Midnight on the DVR. We soon found that nine times out of ten we'd fast forward the last half of the show. That panel segment just never caught fire.

The fact that the insipid and uninteresting Fallon gets huge ratings doesn't surprise me. Leno pretty much molded the Tonight Show into a bland, inoffensive affair. I think the viewers that tune in expect nothing more than a few chuckles. Gone are the days when the mighty Carson walked the earth. He's been replaced by an earnest puppy who wants to please everyone and see his videos go viral.
posted by Ber at 9:48 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

For anyone who hasn't come across it, This Week in Blackness! Prime is absolutely hilarious. One of those podcast/radio deals with cameras in the recording studio, so in that sense it's a bit like the panel segment of The Nightly Show, but with more and uncensored swearing, occasional drunkenness, and frequently a complete lack of success in following any sort of plan or structure for the discussion.

Unfortunately there may be a bit more discipline shortly as they've mentioned that the show will soon be broadcast on the Free Speech TV network.
posted by XMLicious at 10:00 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Also, if you think the show is only panel discussion for a half-hour, you haven't watched in quite a while. It's not been that for a long time.

I guess I'm guilty of that! Thank you for noting that they changed it up. And now: off to watch some more recent episodes of the show.
posted by cjelli at 10:04 AM on August 15, 2016

I wasn't a viewer, so this question is in ignorance BUT: what about the format of the now-defunct BBC show "10 O'Clock Live"?

On that half-hour show, a host introduced news topics to a line-up of several smart, funny people to make remarks about; then Jimmy Carr did a three-minute piece being cruel to people; and then one of the others interviewed two guests about a relevant topic (usually David Mitchell, often despairing of trying for fairness to the one of them who he considered wrong); and then it ended.

I listened to the podcast while it lasted, and often enjoyed it.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:21 AM on August 15, 2016

I stopped watching The Nightly Show, but when I did watch, I thought the show was twice as funny anytime Mike Yard was on.

My experience also but with the following addendum: I thought the show was twice as UNFUNNY anytime Ricky Velez was on.
posted by Pendragon at 10:28 AM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

I'll be honest and say that while I loved Stewart's show, I quit watching consistently YEARS ago. The good stuff would show up on social media the next day, right? That pattern didn't change when he left, even though I really did consider trying to watch Noah and Sam and Larry and John for ratings alone, because I'd always loved their work on the show. But who has the time?

When I did watch, the shows that resonated the most with me were Full Frontal and Last Week Tonight, and I give a slight (slight!) edge to Oliver there. I think the reason has little to do with performer and more to do with venue, because he's on HBO, which means he doesn't have to worry AT ALL about advertisers. That's huge, IMO.

I loved Larry on TDS, and I liked his show, but like others have said it never really clicked for me. He's a smart guy and has a hilarious and astute comic mind, but he didn't work as well for me as Bee or Oliver, and the panel part didn't help. One-person rants from smart, funny people are way more entertaining and engaging to me.

I'll also say this: I'm a little surprised that, in the wake of Stewart's retirement, so many of the alums ended up with shows that were more or less TDS clones. Yes, we've had "talk shows" for decades that were mostly the same, but the format Stewart and his staff honed to a sharp edge lost something when we went from one example to, what, four? With two of them happening 4 nights a week? That struck me as unsustainable at the outset, and maybe I was right.

I do hope Larry gets a good next gig, though. I'll miss his voice in the media if he goes behind the camera.
posted by uberchet at 10:44 AM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Without the perspective on race that will be missing with Wilmore's leaving, Bill Maher has had the "panel discusses news" format sewn up for 20 years or more.
posted by hippybear at 10:51 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

(hippybear, that's also very true, and another reason I hope he's back on TV in another format soon.)
posted by uberchet at 11:14 AM on August 15, 2016

This sucks. Like others have said, this show is the only one to have a unique (read: PoC) perspective on a lot of issues. I'm super said that the Unblackening won't last through the election, and people might forget that motherfucker, and Flint.

While the panel sometimes didn't work out, I really appreciated that there was a very diverse list of guests, and that they usually had something insightful to say where you'd be like "oh I didn't realize so and so could contribute to this discussion since all I know is about their entertainment." And I was still waiting for Hillary to come on!

I was hoping after his bit at the White House Correspondence Dinner he'd get more of a bump but it didn't happen. I try to post his stuff on FB but I could tell those posts never got much attention.

And this is one of the shows that took a segment through a whole evolution, which I really enjoyed. Grace Para's "Nightly" segment was so insipid at first that I didn't think they'd repeat it more than a few times. The joke of "the bubbly and vapid entertainment reporter failing to grasp the seriousness of the story" isn't one I thought could hold up. Then they kept going with it and added all these variations that built on your knowledge of the previous "Nightly" segments. It was great!

Ah well. I hope they'll give Mike Yard his own show, and maybe he'll even take the others with him. At the very least Larry should go back to writing for The Daily Show and joining Roy Wood Jr.
posted by numaner at 11:21 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm not surprised that TNS is getting cancelled, but I really wish they'd gotten better and increased their audience instead. I really, really wanted to like The Nightly Show, and stuck with it for a long time, hoping that they'd find their voice. But I finally stopped watching after one episode where they did two product-placement segments in a row. (One was a segment they'd also done the night before, where Mike Yard used the excuse of going to talk to "real people" to show off some car, and then a tortured comparison between Panera's soup-and-sandwich deal and Black Lives Matter. Started watching again after a friend raved about their Black History Month segments. The product placement had stopped (thank God) but the segments themselves were maybe 2 minutes long, and the show still seemed kind of weak.

Larry Wilmore, who seems like such a nice guy and is definitely a funny comic writer, struggles with delivery. Even when the joke itself is funny, he'll often fumble it by stretching the punchline out too long or something. And Grace Parra's Nightly! segments are just the same punchline over and over again. But most disappointing was the show's lack of truly different perspectives. They had a lot of people with dark skin, but they were mostly all just spouting the same moderate-liberal applause lines. I never learned anything new, or heard any perspectives I'd never heard before, when watching TNS, even though that's exactly what the show had promised and what I was hoping for.

Noah's TDS is a completely different story. It's weird: when each of these shows were announced, I was 100% on board with Larry Wilmore but kind of skeptical of Trevor Noah. But now my opinion has flipped completely around. Trevor's been killing it! He's sharp, his delivery is perfect, the jokes are funny, his correspondents are all top-notch, and best of all, I find Noah's TDS actually delivers on the diverse perspectives TNS promised. I have no idea why more people aren't watching and loving it. But I really, really hope it doesn't get cancelled. He's more than a worthy successor to Jon Stewart.
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 11:33 AM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Dang. Like many others, I loved Mike Yard (and Larry, too, most of the time). The bit where Mike and Rory had to debate each other, then flip and debate the opposing side was always pretty damn amusing, IMHO. Hope Mike lands somewhere good.
posted by tehjoel at 11:42 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

This obituary is really solid: Critic's Notebook: Yes, Larry Wilmore's 'Nightly Show' Will Be Missed:
Essentially, Wilmore was aware that there were things he was going to be able to cover that the other guys might not cover as well and he thrived on that material. But I guess we can't be shocked when it turned out that by giving the audience things they weren't getting elsewhere, Wilmore and company sent audiences elsewhere for the stuff they expected and wanted. The Nightly Show's election coverage peaked with its branded title "The Unblackening," but perhaps more than that of any of the other late night hosts, Wilmore's reaction to the Donald Trump phenomenon seemed stuck in a, "Why is this still happening?" perplexity that never gained the focus or insight that Wilmore usually delivers. If audiences were looking for coverage of the world outside of and around the election, The Nightly Show was coming through, but if all audiences wanted was a rehash of the same faux pas and blunders, Wilmore's heart wasn't always in it.
posted by General Malaise at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2016

Ricky Velez put one, if not the, final nail into the coffin for me— it was the Bill Nye episode discussing "Should we care about water on Mars" and it just turned into this willful embrace of ignorance with Michelle Buteau and himself just essentially saying "BORRRRINNGG" and left me aware that whatever the target audience was, I was now well outside that circle.

The frustrating thing was that there were gleams of something good in the panel discussions, sometimes they really dug deep and found something precious, but more often then not it was just point-scoring for people who wanted to make a quip to score a quickly forgotten laugh from the audience.
posted by Static Vagabond at 12:45 PM on August 15, 2016 [12 favorites]

Velez' shtick of "angsty teenager forced to go shopping with mum" got old really, really fast. Like, first time he was on camera fast. There were a few weeks where he seemed to have dialed it down a bit, but then returned to his old ways.

I mean, looking at that video, it's not a stretch imagining him saying "SHUT UP MUM I DON'T CARE ABOUT TOILET PAPER I JUST WANT TO GO HOME".
posted by lmfsilva at 1:07 PM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Ricky Velez was always there to trample on anything too intelligent or introspective with a dick and fart joke and a big part of why I stopped watching despite being a big fan of the show and everyone else on it.
posted by seraphine at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

The bigger question though...How the hell does Chris Hardwick stay on the air?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:42 PM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

Well, when @Midnight was streamable at CCs website before getting geoblocked, I didn't watch it for Hardwick, but for the guests.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:57 PM on August 15, 2016

Yeah, the reason to watch @midnight has never been for Hardwick (I find him likable enough and his path through the entertainment industry semi-inspirational, but at the same time I totally get why he might be grating for some) but for the enjoyable sampler of stand-up comics. This show alone has probably introduced me to at least a half-dozen comedians who I didn't really know about before, and I already have a comedy podcast-heavy media diet.

Interesting that the Nightly cancellation comes barely a week after I decided to axe my Hulu subscription in the wake of Hulu going paid-only. I'll still watch Daily and @midnight via the CC website, but I do wonder if the budgetary purse strings are getting tighter over at CC in general.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:26 PM on August 15, 2016

Somebody snarked that TNS was "weak tea" a while back, and I haven't been able to get that out of my head since. I think they made a mistake using the same people in sketches that they do in the panels. It feels weird to make the transition from somebody playing some idiot Trump fan to being themselves two minutes later and offering real opinions. Too many nights it's Wilmore, two of his writers who were just in some so-so sketch, and some dummy rapper who can't form a sentence. It needed to either be Wilmore and a regular crew of comedian pundits or Wilmore and an eclectic panel of rotating guests like Politically Incorrect or Tough Crowd. Splitting the difference with two of Wilmore's writers and some random celeb just didn't work. It was also a mistake to do a monologue and then sketches and then a panel. The sketches were never great, and the show should've been a monologue and then the panel or just the panel. I do like Wilmore and hope he lands a good gig elsewhere, but this show was kind of a mess.

I do feel like Noah's days are numbered, but I'd be amazed if they just cancel The Daily Show. The problem is Noah and his middling correspondents, not the format of the show itself. In this crazy election it's been really depressing to see Noah out there being so mediocre and George Lazenby-ing it up every night. Jordan Klepper feels like the star correspondent right now, and frankly he would have been a real second-stringer back in the show's glory days. There is a lack of focus and a serious charisma vacuum at the show right now.

Colbert's new show already feels nearly as bland as Letterman's did when he'd been on the air for a couple of decades. I'd really, really like to see him give that up and go back to CC to host the Daily Show. I think that's where he belongs, really. Failing that I'd love to see John Oliver, Samantha Bee or any of the correspondents from the show's glory days. None of them probably want the job, but somebody who really knew what they were doing could probably turn that show around in a week and become a lefty hero for a generation or two.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:32 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Colbert has said so many dumb ignorant things on the Late Show that I don't want to see him back doing the Daily Show thing. I don't know what to think about him anymore.
posted by bleep at 6:45 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

bah, god dammit. and i'm sure tosh.o will last another 10 seasons. bah!
posted by eustatic at 6:45 PM on August 15, 2016

I've said it before, I'll say it again: TDS should have gone to Bassem Youssef.
posted by jbickers at 6:48 PM on August 15, 2016

or any of the correspondents from the show's glory days
Wilmore replacing Noah on TDS? Making the best of a bad situation.

And a retitling of @midnight to @eleventhirty or @nearlymidnight is absolutely mandatory.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:52 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


I liked Larry a lot and watched the opening segment and the second bit. Never watched the panel. (I don't watch TDS interviews either, even back in the Stewart days. Kilby though, those I watched. But I digress.)

A fully scripted Wilmore would go over big with me, but the CC yak's comment that they're not planning on replacing it with something scripted at all says two things: 1) Cash is smaller and 2) Suuuuuuucks!

I'm gonna miss my Mike Yard too man, that guy and Larry were gold. Something will come up, I'm sure. (C'mon TBS, get it!)
posted by petebest at 6:54 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Colbert has said so many dumb ignorant things on the Late Show that I don't want to see him back doing the Daily Show thing.

I'd agree that he's said plenty of things that were really disappointing, things that absolutely did not square with his politics as I understand them. (My jaw dropped when he said that there was a "not zero" chance he'd vote for Jeb Bush. That was total bullshit, unless Colbert was thinking about some absurdly unlikely scenario where it ended up being Jeb vs. Kodos or something.) I chalked it up to him caving to pressure from CBS to be more "mainstream" and prove to America that he's not just some lefty who is going to attack conservatives every night. Well, Colbert is a lefty, and the false equivalence bullshit does not suit him at all. Nobody's buying it, and it makes him look like a liar to conservatives and like a sell-out to lefties.

Colbert earned so much goodwill in the CC days that I haven't lost all respect for him yet, but these days I watch his show with a sense of grim obligation and I wouldn't be too surprised if he's not much more enthused about making them than I am about watching them. I feel like he's out there trying to be somebody he's not, both in terms of his politics and being Mr. Showbiz. If he came back and did TDS I have a feeling that everything would click into place right away.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:26 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I guess you have more faith in him than I do.
posted by bleep at 8:43 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Tonight's crowd was amazing.

"I am Larry Wilmore, um, how was your day?"

posted by General Malaise at 9:04 PM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

Larry definitely looked shaken today, but put in a mostly typical show.
Like others, I like the opening segments but find the panel as unwatchable as a group of half-drunk undergraduates.
posted by cardboard at 9:18 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, I cried a bit.
posted by General Malaise at 9:20 PM on August 15, 2016

Yeah I don't know what the hell Colbert is doing. I caught an episode two weeks ago after not having watched it since maybe November and was horrified to see him deliver a bog-standard late night monologue. The show certainly wasn't fresh or exciting even when it first started but now it seems like it's simply not even trying.
posted by Automocar at 9:27 PM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

I tried really hard to stick with TNS after Colbert left and just couldn't. Maybe it was the panel/interview segment (I've not really watched Colbert or Stewart interviews, either) but the show simply didn't click. After reading this news, I watched last week's run on Hulu...still don't like it. I'd love to see him back up Trevor Noah on TDS; he and Roy Wood Jr. would blow the other correspondents out of the water.

(As for Colbert, he is doing the wrong kind of show for his type of comedy, IMHO. The best Late Show episode, delivered with the most punch and enthusiasm I've seen from Colbert since he changed networks, was his one-night revival of Colbert-the-character with The Word.)
posted by fireoyster at 2:28 AM on August 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

It's kind of disappointing that both Colbert and Wilmore haven't really been "landing" on their shows. Part of this is that both suffer in comparison to their immediate predecessors.

For a pure interview show, Stewart was one of the all-time greats. It was on the strength of his interviews that the show became what it was -- I mean, where ELSE did you see, for example, nuanced discussion of Palestine? Wilmore and his panel are inevitably compared to Jon, and it's a hard comparison.

Colbert gets this too, but I think the bigger problem there is that he's kind of his own victim. SC as straight-man -- no matter how incredibly decent he clearly is -- pales as entertainment when compared to SC-as-right-wing-doofus. Broad vs. subtle is a hard battle to win.
posted by uberchet at 7:02 AM on August 16, 2016

"Our show going off the air has to only mean one thing -- racism is solved. We did it."

* sobs and laughs *
posted by numaner at 10:37 AM on August 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

Show #2 post-cancellation: no opening news review. Instead, Larry hosts a clip show of previous hits, while drinking wine sent to him by Sam Bee. And then a panel.
posted by cardboard at 4:54 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was disappointed in the clip show, but I guess they figured they'd get a little ratings bump from the news, so wanted to show off some of the stuff they were particularly proud of that nobody watched before. And those two segments were among the best they've done.

The panel was kind of a mess, and Sen. Chris Murphy was supposed to be a guest. Guess he dropped out?
posted by General Malaise at 6:02 AM on August 17, 2016

I always thought the perfect combo was TDS/Futurama reruns.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:57 AM on August 17, 2016

I forgot about that interview with the gangs in Baltimore. That was some progressive shit that no one else is doing right now. It might be as staged as it could be, but giving them the benefit of the doubt that they were real gang members, and knowing the history of gangs in this country and in Baltimore, it was an important piece.

When shows end they always do best of clips and I think the clips were some of the best ones, and it's a good memory of the show.

Drunk Larry's so worked up it's hilarious!
posted by numaner at 9:50 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Day three: Larry looks a bit disheveled and is drinking premium network booze sent to him from Colbert. Killer story on opioids. And the panel is basically a Lewis Black Interview (partly because the rest of the panel looked hammered) and rocked. A strong penultimate episode, keeping it together while it feels like it's simultaneously falling apart.
posted by cardboard at 9:02 PM on August 17, 2016

another note: what other late night show has women as cast/correspondence (aside from Full Frontal) awesome enough to pull off Tampon Tuesday?
posted by numaner at 9:57 AM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Nightly Show Contributors, Ranked:

1. Holly Walker
2. Mike Yard
3. Grace Parra
4. Robin Thede
5. Franchesca Ramsey
6. Rory Albanese
7. Jordan Carlos
8. Shenaz Treasury
9. Choking on a cup of weak tea
10. Ricky Velez
posted by tonycpsu at 10:59 AM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Nightly Show Contributors, Ranked:

Okay, so now we know Holly Walker's MeFi username.

Yard is so far ahead of everyone else that I'd put him over Larry.
posted by Etrigan at 11:00 AM on August 18, 2016

Yard is the best at the correspondent bits, but is just a bit above replacement level on the panel. He's good on some topics but actively ruins the discussion of some others, particularly anything involving Hillary.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:04 AM on August 18, 2016

Right, pistols at dawn it is.

Everything's legal in New Jersey.
posted by Etrigan at 11:05 AM on August 18, 2016

The Opioid Epidemic Deep Dive was so damn good. I like how they're spending the week reminding people of what they'll be missing...
posted by numaner at 3:10 PM on August 18, 2016

I'm kind of surprised by all the Mike Yard love. I mean, he's fine. But I had no idea he was considered the MVP! Ricky Velez doesn't really bother me, but unfortunately I think I'd say that about most of the show. It was a very B+ show, and I think everybody was expecting it to be better. I think Colbert's new show is really B+ too. I don't think Colbert moving to CBS has done any good for anybody. I think we traded up (slightly) when Fallon replaced Leno, just because Leno was such an absolute Sarlaac pit of total suck, but late night has otherwise really suffered with all the retirements and job shuffling. (I still wait in vain for James Corden to go away and Craig Ferguson to come back.)

If Stewart was pushing for an all-panel format, I think Wilmore made a mistake in not listening to that. I do like his monologues, but at the very least the show should have been like 80% panel if it was going to be a panel show at all, with no sketches. The panels felt like an afterthought and even the best guests struggled to make any good points in that format.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:57 PM on August 18, 2016

If Stewart was pushing for an all-panel format, I think Wilmore made a mistake in not listening to that.

TNS was basically all-panel format when it was launched. They whittled down the panel portion of the show over time because it simply was not working like they wanted it to. I think maybe the show would have been more successful if they had figured out why the panel stuff wasn't working and worked to remake it in ways that did work, rather than replacing 2/3 of the show with non-panel segments.

But then, I thought a lot of the non-panel, scripted sketch segments were where most of the sharpest and pointed satire happened during the show. They were able to say things in very satirical and effective ways with the way they were using the sketch segments. Points about race, gender, media, cross-cultural issues... Stuff that would never come out during a panel discussion.

Bill Maher has basically ruled the political/cultural panel discussion show for 20+ years, but even his show is WILDLY uneven, largely depending on the guests selected for any given night and the topics put forward by Bill to discuss. (And the way he frames them when introducing them, which can have a giant effect on how things go from there.)

Wilmore, being very new to this space, had... um... 20 months to try to learn how to make this format work. If he'd started doing this 5 or 10 years ago, this show would be a success. The pressure put on it since Colbert left and the demands for success didn't give him a chance to get his feet under himself for learning how to make all this work well. That plus the continual format changes to the show meant that, over time, it was obvious that the show couldn't figure out what it needed to be to find an audience, and that it never stayed the same thing long enough for any audience it attracted to get used to what it was doing, AND that they had no practice at doing any of the formats long enough to do any of them well.

I really liked TNS, and watched it 4 nights a week, even on DVR if I wasn't home to catch it. But I fully understand that it didn't appeal to the people 15-20 years younger than me who are The Most Important Demographic, and it never really had enough of one format to fully develop into the show it should have been in any of the formats it experimented with.
posted by hippybear at 7:14 PM on August 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

Jon Stewart! I think Larry was on the verge of tearing up when Jon was commenting on his show. Definitely a lot of emotion going around.

I will really miss the pointed satirical sketches, as well as the characters. A lot of us really like Mike Yard, but on review, especially with the montage of sketches from last night, I think Jordan Carlos, Grace Para, Holly Walker, and Robin Thede are up there too. I hope they all resurface soon.
posted by numaner at 10:07 AM on August 19, 2016

Waited to watch the finale for when I wasn't tired.

The room got a little dusty when Jon finished his totally correct pep speech and it went to commercial. I'm gonna miss this f*cking show.
posted by General Malaise at 4:00 PM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Microsoft™ Professional White Background 365...   |   ack! thppt! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments