Most people, after they have been let go by their company, are offered the chance to give a few last words, or exit interview.
Larry Wilmore, the still-current host of The Nightly Show (at least, until its airing concludes on August 18th), is no exception. He met with Deadline today to speak on his time with his program, what he loved, and what he’ll miss.
The one aspect above all others Wilmore will turn a wistful eye to is, of course, doing what he did best. “I think it’s being able to have a voice on those issues and being able to stick up for some of these voices that don’t always get a chance to be heard,” said Wilmore, referring to the voices of minorities–primarily black–in the United States.
The show’s host continued, “Whether it was putting people on panels you don’t necessarily see or covering stories that are too dangerous maybe to cover on the late-night shows.”
His final week’s tappings were prime examples of Wilmore’s goal to spotlight more raw topics. One of his close-to-final segments covered how gangs in Baltimore, often boundlessly violent towards one another, made tempered peace to help solve brutality against fellow Baltimorians by police. It is a story that most, if not all, other major daytime, prime-time, and late-night-satire news shows alike have glossed over or skipped all-together in favor of other flashier stories.
The story is likely one Wilmore would have covered anyway, but now, it’ll be one of the last he ever does for The Nightly Show–not that, even a week ago, anyone working on the show would have known that. According to the host, the network contacted Wilmore after filming last Thursday that in a week’s time, the show would be no more. Just like that.
It was a surprise for Wilmore, but not in a way one would think. He admitted that he knew that his show might not have much longevity, but, he said, “I didn’t think we wouldn’t be able to cover the election.”
There was a passionate fight on Wilmore’s fight to extend his show’s breath, just a little longer, just to hold out to November. He admitted that he so much so wanted to input his show’s voice into what will be one of America’s most tumultuous elections in its history. Comedy Central cut him off there. There was no fight to be had, said the network.
The Nightly Show, of course, had lost its battle due to its low ratings, according to Comedy Central’s president Kent Alterman. The show that had been created by former Daily Show host Jon Stewart was no more.
Speaking of Stewart, Wilmore hinted plainly that he had been talking with his mentor this week about having him stop by the show to bid farewell, but nothing had been confirmed.
You can watch the final episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore tomorrow night on Comedy Central at 11:30pm.