Comedy Central Picks Larry Wilmore To Replace Colbert


Isn’t Friday when you release news you want forgotten? Then why has Comedy Central chosen today to say who’s replacing Steven Colbert?

NEW YORK, May 9, 2014 – Comedy Central has pulled from the ranks of “The Best F*&#ing News Team Ever!” and today announces the Emmy® Award-winning Larry Wilmore as the host of the #1 brand in comedy’s next great late night franchise. Wilmore will take over the highly-coveted post-“Daily Show” time slot in January 2015 as host of “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture from unique perspectives not typically on display in late night television. The series was created by Jon Stewart and will be produced by Stewart’s Busboy Productions with Stewart and Wilmore serving as Executive Producers.

Much will be made of Wilmore’s race and how this hiring adds diversity to TV. Sure. However Wilmore is the funniest intellectual voice on TV today. He’s the right choice black, white or transparent.

Smart move on Comedy Central’s part. I can’t wait to watch.

David Letterman Is Retiring

David Letterman autographed photoSome presents are meant to be remembered. While we were dating, Helaine got me an autographed photo of David Letterman. This was at the beginning of the morning show era. He was my hero.

What a caring gift. Thank you again, baby.

David Letterman has done some of the funniest off-the-wall material seen on TV. Not recently.

Since the heart attack? Since his affair? Since the birth of Harry? At some point his TV spark went away.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d see him tomorrow. I’m still a huge fan. He is not doing his best work today.

letterman-ticketWith Leno gone and Jimmy Fallon very strong out of the gate, it’s time. He said so a few nights ago.

So, who? The NY Post says CBS likes Colbert.

Are they talking the character he currently plays or legit Stephen Colbert? Is either a good choice? With the real Stephen, you risk fans who might not like his actual persona as much as his alter ego and feel cheated.

I like Jon Stewart a lot. That choice would make me happy and I think he could be a force.

letterman-studioHoward Stern is a good choice too. He’s intellectually curious and a great interviewer. Does he play close to the line a little too often for CBS? Maybe.

Stern had major public battles with Les Moonves who runs the network and its attendant empire. It got very nasty.

Does money trump personal animosity? Here? In SoCal? In show biz? Survey says, yes!

CBS needs to hit a home run. Late night is fabulously profitable in an era of pinched bottom lines. They will suffer greatly without the revenue Letterman brought.

This will be interesting to watch. Dave said his run ends in 2015.

O’Reilly And Colbert

Last night was the big Stephen Colbert/Bill O’Reilly ‘confrontation.’ First they met on Fox’s O’Reilly Factor. Later, they moved to the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Both Bill and Stephen stayed in character. Colbert has an act. O’Reilly’s persona is an affectation which has evolved over time.

In spite of what I personally think about O’Reilly, he’s obviously a smart man. However, what was shown last night is, he’s out of the loop as far as contemporary culture is concerned.

More than likely, someone (or many someones) had tipped him off to Colbert’s nightly send up of the O’Reilly style. Did O’Reilly agree without really knowing what he was getting into? That’s how it seemed to me.

Colbert is a tough target for O’Reilly to attack, because what he says is ‘conservative-speak.’ It’s not the words that make his satire, but their context.

On more than a few occasions, Colbert made sport of O’Reilly without Bill having a clue! Again, it was the nuance of what transpired, not the meaning of the individual words.

Stephen needs to be careful, because over the long run, there can be an O’Reilly Factor without Colbert, but there can’t be a Colbert Report without Bill O’Reilly. Ask Vaughn Meader.

Blogger’s note: Over at TVNewser there is a ‘who won’ poll being conducted. At the moment, it’s Colbert 92%, O’Reilly 7%