After news broke about Comedy Central canceling Larry Wilmore’s “The Nightly Show,” the series’ host spoke out about the news. In a Wednesday radio interview, the comedian explained that race was not a factor in the network’s decision. He pointed to “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah as proof.
“Trevor’s doing very well. You know, he’s a Black host, and he’s resonating with a lot of people,” Wilmore told All Things Considered. “So I don’t think the color has anything to do with it. To me, I didn’t feel like there was enough synergy between our two shows, where we could have been, you know, promoting each other the way Jon [Stewart] and Stephen [Colbert] did.”
Atlanta Black Star reported “The Nightly Show” was a spin-off of “The Daily Show,” which Jon Stewart hosted until Noah took over last year. “Nightly” took the place of “The Colbert Report” in January 2015.
The show separated itself from others like it by examining the intersection of race, politics and pop culture.
In Wilmore’s initial statement on the end of his series, he criticized “The Unblackening” of the late-night talk show landscape.
“I’m… saddened and surprised we won’t be covering this crazy election or ‘The Unblackening,’ as we’ve coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”
In Wednesday’s episode of “Nightly,” the 54-year-old expanded on his thoughts about the show’s demise.
“When we started the show, we wanted to have a conversation of some very tough subjects,” he said about the news satire. “Our show was at its best when the news was at its worst. I’m just proud we were able to take on such issues and say something powerful while making people laugh during some very dark days.”
“On the plus side, our show going off the air has to mean only one thing: racism is solved. We did it,” he added jokingly.
During a conversation with Vulture a day later, the TV show writer said he did not know if “Nightly’s” continued discussions on race caused ratings to dwindle.
“I don’t know. Who knows? I mean, our numbers were great when Jon Stewart was there, so I don’t know,” Wilmore said. “I could make the argument that Jon not being our lead-in hurt our numbers. There are a lot of ways you can make the argument. There were a lot of people who really appreciated the fact that we tackled those subjects. And there are some people who are never going to like that no matter what you do. So it’s hard to point to one thing.”
The final episode of “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” airs tonight at 11:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central.
Wilmore’s next career move is co-creator of comedian Issa Rae’s HBO series “Insecure,” premiering Oct. 9.