I really do want to like Larry Wilmore’s show.
I mean, the man’s got great dimples.
And he’s got that flavour that Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert have. Or, at least in the same sort of genre ballpark as they are. If we consider a rather large ballpark. I think my favourite parts are when Larry is talking to Jon at the end of the Daily Show. After watching that few seconds of banter, I’ve thought to myself that I’d give Larry’s show a shot. Even after having given the show a shot, the banter has brought me back into the ballpark to see what’s happening.
Small doses. Bits on the Daily Show and bits at the end of the Daily Show. But when I watch the larger doses, I can’t even finish it. Tonight I watched Larry Wilmore talking about Hillary’s announcement for the Presidency. His guests were an idiot and two smart women, an actress and a journalist. The dog in the trash bit as good. The Game of Thrones bit was good. But the banter sucked. The idiot should have kept his mouth more shut in deference to the smarter people around him. However, he does have his purpose and that’s where I think my patience with watching Larry fades. Larry, more than once, cut off the actress for the sake of a joke. Larry does that a lot – cut off discussion for the sake of a chuckle. Jon gets to the joke without taking a detour from the content. Larry seems to lack the confidence to do that. Jon leaves you with the impression that he actually knows his shit. Larry stays with the low hanging fruit because it is easier and not as risky as the meat of the issue. Getting back to the purpose of the idiot… The only reason to keep an idiot at the table is to cover the low end of the spectrum, to keep you from looking too dumb. The problem though is that the bar gets defined by the idiot and it gets defined low.
I watch shows with hosts like Stewart because, while the politics might be comfortable, the intellect and the humour are, well, not disappointing. That’s not quite the right word. Put it a different way. I think sitting with a group of friends drinking coffee chatting about stuff, Jon would invigorate and challenge the conversation. The Larry on his show would get tiresome always trying to score that chuckle with some quip that he thought was funny.
Actually, I think Larry on his show isn’t quite the real Larry. I think if he didn’t try so hard to get the chuckles, if he let the issues he’s trying to discuss get out on the table more, it might be a show I’d watch. I hope so. Colbert is gone. Stewart is going. I’m not sure where I’m going to be getting my news with the appropriate liberal bias.