Larry Wilmore is the Next Stephen Colbert, But Better

Aly Semigran

Technically speaking, The Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore is the new guy on the late-night television circuit, but the former Daily Show correspondent and in Living Color writer has been making us laugh — at all hours of the day — for quite some time.

The writer/actor/stand-up comedian, who got his start on The Facts of Life, has been seen on the small screen (Happy Endings, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office, which he also worked as a consulting producer on) and big screen (I Love You, Man, Dinner for Schmucks, Vamps) alike for a career that’s already spanned more than 30 years.
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While Wilmore has long been a memorable “Oh, that guy!” kind of character actor, he has been making just as many waves off-screen. The Los Angeles native co-created the hit comedies The PJs, with Eddie Murphy, and The Bernie Mac Show, with the late, great Bernie Mac. (In fact, Wilmore’s work on The Bernie Mac Show earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.) Wilmore’s other notable writing and producing credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Whoopi. Most recently, he worked as an executive producer on one of 2014’s best new comedies, black-ish.

Though Wilmore (who is married to actress Leilani Jones, with whom he has two children) has had a major hand in television comedy for quite some time, his face and name finally began to resonate when he worked as the Senior Black Correspondent on The Daily Show.

Wilmore started on the show in 2006, all the way until 2014, when it was announced he would be taking over Stephen Colbert’s post-Daily Show slot for his own series called The Nightly Show. The late night news satire program was originally supposed to be called The Minority Report, but as Wilmore told EW.com, the title (which shares the same name as the 2002 Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller) “became a bit of a mess” and was changed.

No matter what the title of his show was going to be, there was no doubt Wilmore (who penned the well-received 2009 book I’d Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts) was going to kill it as a late night host. For years, Wilmore filled a much-needed void as the voice of race-related matters in the news and in comedy. If ever there was a time television needed a strong comic and political viewpoint like Wilmore’s, it’s now. Relive some of Wilmore’s greatest hits on The Daily Show below.

In preparation for The Nightly Show, and to get an even better sense of Wilmore’s smart and daring brand of comedy, check out his specials like Larry Wilmore’s Race, Religion & Sex and follow him on Twitter.

The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore premieres at 11:30 PM ET on Comedy Central.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]