Entertainment

05.09.14

Meet Larry Wilmore, Stephen Colbert’s Replacement and Host of the New Series ‘The Minority Report’

The current “Senior Black Correspondent” on The Daily Show will take over the reins in Jan. 2015 as host of The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore—a comedic look at news, current events, and pop culture through a unique lens.

Colbert Nation: You’re about to become very familiar with Larry Wilmore.

The most recent development in late night’s version of Game of Thrones will see Wilmore, who serves as The Daily Show’s “Senior Black Correspondent,” take over the post-Daily Show 11:30 pm ET time slot now occupied by The Colbert Report. Wilmore’s show will be called The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore and the move, which comes in the wake of Colbert taking over David Letterman’s Late Show on CBS, will go into effect in January 2015.

According to a press release from the show’s network, Comedy Central:

The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore will provide viewers with a distinct point of view and comedic take on the day’s news from a perspective largely missing in the current late-night landscape. Hosted by Larry Wilmore, the series will feature a diverse panel of voices currently underrepresented in comedy and television. More details will be revealed at a later date.”

The new series was created by Jon Stewart and produced by Stewart’s Busboy Productions, with the Daily Show host serving as executive producer alongside Wilmore.

“While Larry Wilmore is a brilliant comic and showrunner, this is all just a complicated ruse to get him to move to New York and turn him into a Knicks fan,” said Stewart.

"I’m beyond excited to have this chance to continue my relationships with Comedy Central and the brilliant Jon Stewart."

And the veteran comedy writer, 52, is no slouch when it comes to getting laughs. After dropping out of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, he spent time as a sometime stand-up comedian and TV actor, including a two-episode arc as Officer Ziaukus on The Facts of Life. Wilmore then moved behind the scenes, serving as a writer on the sketch-comedy series In Living Color—receiving an Emmy nomination—and the sitcom Sister, Sister, as well as a writer/producer on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

He soon transitioned into the role of showrunner, co-creating the animated sitcom The PJs with Eddie Murphy, as well as The Bernie Mac Show, with the latter garnering him an Emmy Award and a Peabody. Wilmore also served as a consulting producer on NBC’s The Office from 2005-2007, overseeing 50 episodes, and penned the episode “Performance Review,” which aired in 2005.

In 2006, he joined The Daily Show as the program’s “Senior Black Correspondent,” lampooning current events and sharing hilarious observations about what it’s like to be black in America.

As far as where he leans politically goes, Wilmore told Laughspin in 2012: “I call myself a ‘passionate centrist,’ and what that means is that I have opinions, I just don’t care if they’re on the right or the left. Yes, I’ll have an opinion, I’m just not trying to prove either side.”

His stand-up comedy special for Showtime, Race, Religion and Sex, was well-received that same year, and he’s also proven to be a reliable character actor in film and television comedies, appearing in the flicks Dinner for Schmucks and I Love You, Man, as well as a recurring role on the sitcom Happy Endings, playing Brad’s (Damon Wayans Jr.) strict boss, Mr. Forristal.

More recently, in addition to his tenure on The Daily Show, Wilmore will serve as executive producer and showrunner on the ABC series Black-ish, which just received a series order and stars Anthony Anderson as “an upper-middle-class black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series will also star Laurence Fishburne as Anderson’s no-nonsense dad. Also, Wilmore is developing a TV project for HBO with Issa Rae, star of the popular webseries The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which focuses on “the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern day African-American woman,” reported Deadline.

As far as his new Comedy Central series, The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore, the in-demand Wilmore said: “I’m beyond excited to have this chance to continue my relationships with Comedy Central and the brilliant Jon Stewart. I love the city of New York and promise to only wear my Laker T-shirts when I’m layering.”