Larry Wilmore Takes Over 'Late Show' Monologue to Poke Fun at 'Nightly Show' Cancellation

"I thought whoever leaves 11:30 at Comedy Central just gets 'The Late Show,'" said Wilmore.
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS
Larry Wilmore on 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert'

Larry Wilmore is not quite finished with late-night TV. 

On Thursday, Wilmore jokingly tried to take his late-night hosting efforts to Stephen Colbert's Late Show. 

Wilmore, whose Nightly Show was canceled at Comedy Central last month, began the opening monologue of the show with some Donald Trump jokes before Colbert stepped onstage to interrupt. 

"I thought whoever leaves 11:30 at Comedy Central just gets The Late Show. I thought that’s how it works," said Wilmore to Colbert.

After Colbert disagreed, Wilmore asked, "It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?"

Colbert's reply: "A little bit. Yeah." 

Later on the show, Colbert introduced Wilmore as his "brother from another network."

During their interview, Wilmore talked a bit more about The Nightly Show's cancelation and he and Colbert reminisced about working with Jon Stewart and the difficult task of hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Wilmore reiterated his disappointment that The Nightly Show was canceled before the election and compared Comedy Central's decision to someone who decides to end a relationship without the other person knowing it's over.

"We hadn't talked to them for a while so it was almost like you were in a relationship where you were the one that didn't know it was over," he joked. "It's like, 'How's it going, Larry?' 'It's going great! What?'"

He added that he was "very upset" that the show's cancelation happened right before "all the best racial stuff started happening," including Trump's "Mexico tour" and Trump calling Hillary Clinton a bigot as well as Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protest.

Ultimately, though, Wilmore said he was happy he had the opportunity.

"I'm very sad for [the fact that The Nightly Show was canceled], but I'm very proud of the work that we did," he said. "So I like to live in the abundance of being grateful for what we got to do, and hopefully I can do something like that again sometime."

Wilmore spoke out on the cancelation when it was announced in August, saying he was "saddened and surprised we won't be covering this crazy election or 'The Unblackening' as we've coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn't counted on 'The Unblackening' happening to my time slot as well."

The two Daily Show alumni also revealed they had similar experiences working with Jon Stewart. They both agreed Stewart is incredibly supportive as well as "frustratingly right most of the time," as Wilmore put it.

"The very few times that I've ever gone to the mat with him over like, 'That's not how this is going to work comedically,' I cannot say the words I want to say on the number of times he was right and I was wrong," Colbert agreed.

Another common experience that Wilmore and Colbert share is that they both hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner, and realized just how tough of a room it is.

"It's a really fun night unless you make fun of someone who's in the room," Colbert said, adding that while it's sort of a "roast," "Those people have nuclear launch codes but they can't take a f—ing joke…'I want to rule the world, but heaven forbid you should take a poke at me'"

Colbert, who hosted the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner, got a chilly reception when he went after then-president George W. Bush.

The Late Show host also lamented having to "hang around" after the host's monologue. "It's not like there's a limo waiting for you to dive in and get away, as much as you want to," he said.

"Because of that type of room, you don't know how you did because there are a number of people who weren't too happy with what you did so it's like they don't want to look at you," Wilmore added, claiming that Wolf Blitzer was "really upset" with the jokes the Nightly Show host lobbed in his direction. "It's like you don't want to have to name the animals you might have to eat if you live on a farm. They don't want to make eye contact."

In response to that, Colbert told the story of having his old Northwestern classmate, actor Harry Lennix, come up to him after his speech and telling him, "That was really good."

"I said, 'Harry, it's really great to see you. I don't think these people liked it,'" Colbert recalled. "Harry's so wonderful and so dignified and he's got a fantastic voice. He leans back and he goes, 'F— these people. That was good.' So Larry, f— these people. That was good."

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