Larry Wilmore has spent the past 48 hours taking heat from pundits over what some naysayers viewed as an uneven—and even problematic—performance at President Obama’s final White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
One man who knows what that feels like is Stephen Colbert, who received similar criticism for his speech at the 2006 dinner, in which he spent most of his time mocking President George W. Bush to his face.
Before delivering his monologue on The Late Show Monday night, Colbert gave a supportive “shout-out” to his “good friend” Wilmore, who took over his Comedy Central time slot a year and a half ago.
“He stunned that room,” Colbert began. “People in Washington aren’t used to seeing two men speaking at the same event.”
The host then addressed the “shocking” moment at the end of the speech when Wilmore said the “n-word” to President Obama. “But it did lay the groundwork for President Trump to say it next year,” the host joked. “You can imagine it,” he added.
“Personally, I thought Larry gave a great speech that did not let the president or the press off the hook,” Colbert said in his monologue, before alluding to his own controversial appearance at the event a decade ago. “I am confident that Larry will receive the ultimate recognition for his work: Never being invited back.”
“You can watch with me next year, Larry!” he concluded.