Daily Show vet Larry Wilmore took to the stage at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour yesterday to talk about his new gig hosting The Nightly Show, which takes overs The Colbert Report’s 11:30 p.m. time slot on Comedy Central beginning Jan. 19.
“It’s kind of a hybrid, if you will, of, let’s say, The Daily Show and maybe Politically Incorrect,” Wilmore said, adding that the show was the brainchild of Daily’s Jon Stewart, who produces. “The first part of the show is the scripted part where I’m weighing in, giving my take on the events or event of the day that we’re going to be talking about. The second part of the show is more of a panel discussion where we’ll deconstruct that event or events a little bit more and get more into it. That will have a lot of surprising elements. It may be comic. It may be provocative. Who knows? It’ll go wherever it goes.”
Wilmore says that, rather than correspondents, The Nightly Show will have multitasking contributors, which so far include Bollywood actress Shenaz Treasury and comedians Ricky Velez, and Mike Yard.
“They’ll do comic pieces. They’ll report from places. And we’ll throw them on a panel now and then too, and we’ll have some fun with that,” Wilmore explained. “We’re finding out what all of that means right now as we’re doing the test shows. And we’ll be finding out some of it on the air. But we have a real good sense of where we’re starting from right now.”
The Nightly Show also deviates from the Daily Show model of booking guests, instead letting the night’s topic dictate who sits down to talk.
“We’re not going to do a show where we’re just booking people and try to mesh them into what we’re talking about,” he said. “We’re doing it the other way around. Whatever the topic is is going to generate who we’re going to have on our show. We want to discover people on our show, people maybe we haven’t seen before, find our stable of people who are fun to talk to. We’ll definitely have celebrities on, but they won’t be on hawking books or movies or that sort of thing.”
Wilmore’s also eager to apply lessons learned from working closely with Stewart to make the show his own.
“Jon always encouraged us to go deeper — ‘There’s something else under there. What do we really want to talk about?’” Wilmore said. “It’s also the way I like to approach things too. I like to unearth something. ‘What’s really under there? What is this thing? How does it really make me feel?’ was what we’d always go into that with. Biggest thing I learned from Jon is to keep attacking it, keep going at it. He’s really good at it.
As for the show’s name, which morphed from The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore for multiple reasons, Wilmore says it goes beyond the obvious.
“It became kind of a slyer comment, even if I’m playing with any of the racial aspects of it or whatever. ‘Nightly,’ to me, is kind of a slyer joke — but I’m just using my joke brain. It’s like, ‘Well, what’s The Nightly Show, Larry?’ Well, if you’re watching The Daily Show and it feels like it’s getting a little darker, you’re probably watching The Nightly Show.”
The Nightly Show launches on Jan. 19. at 11:30 ET/PT on Comedy Central.
Image/video: Comedy Central