The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore Asks the Right Questions, But Doesn't Have Any Answers

January 20, 2015 6:36 PM

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The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore Asks the Right Questions, But Doesn't Have Any Answers

The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore's great misfortune isn't that it replaces The Colbert Report, but that it premieres after Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. The Colbert Report was sui generis—and will likely remain so—because such a series makes leviathan demands on its host: crackerjack comedic skills, superb acting chops and the massive humility to subsume himself completely into his character. Last Week Tonight, on the other hand, is a gauntlet thrown down before every other late-night comedy show (and news program), defying them to attempt its rare combination of smart, sidesplitting and viral.

Oliver's HBO series is as good as it is because its writing staff has an entire week to write and rewrite each episode until it's dazzlingly streamlined. Dense with information, tightly choreographed, and then probably edited to shave off any woolly scruff, it boasts clean lines.

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