Larry Wilmore was yanked from our screens when Comedy Central canceled “The Nightly Show” last month, but you didn’t think that would keep him off late-night TV, did you?
The former host was back Thursday to join fellow Comedy Central alum Stephen Colbert — and hijack his “The Late Show” opening monologue.
It all sounded normal as Wilmore took to the CBS stage to a roaring crowd and said: “Welcome to the ‘Late Show,’ I’m you’re host, Larry Wilmore,” before taking a jab at Trump’s immigration speech in Arizona the previous evening. “I haven’t seen that many angry white people since they canceled a Coldplay concert.
However, he was soon reined in by Colbert, who strutted out onto the stage with a stern expression and tapped him on the shoulder. “This is my show, why are you doing the monologue?”
“I’m sorry,” Wilmore quipped, “I thought whoever leaves Comedy Central at 11:30 gets the ‘Late Show.’”
Ooops, not so fast …
In the wake of his show’s sudden cancelation by Comedy Central, Wilmore told TheWrap last month that it was a tough week after he’d been delivered the crushing blow, “because you become a family when you do these things. The emotions have been swirling.
The short notice “was the biggest surprise, because I’ve been in television a long time. I know shows don’t always make it. That’s just the way it is … I thought that if we weren’t going to make it that we would not get renewed for a third season, because that’s a decision that’s being made.
“I was surprised that we didn’t get to finish the second season that was already picked up,” he said.
The doomed “Nightly Show” was not only burdened with the gargantuan task of filling the “Colbert Report’s” shoes — it had to do so without all that many Jon Stewart lead-ins to boot. (“Nightly” ended up following Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show” for something like 143 of its 259 episodes.)
Plus, Wilmore got off to a rough start, having to drop his initial title of “The Minority Report” to a bad Fox broadcast adaptation, settling with the cutesy-but-not-so-clever “Nightly Show.”
That’s not all. From Sept. 28 to July 31, “The Nightly Show” averaged just 724,000 total viewers per night. Comparably, from Sept. 30, 2014 to July 27, 2015, Colbert’s final season had pulled in 1.686 million total viewers per night.