Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Nightly Show

Go To

The Nightly Show was a late-night political talk show hosted by Larry Wilmore that premiered in January 2015 on Comedy Central. It was a spinoff of The Daily Show, taking The Colbert Report's former spot.

The first half of the show had Larry offering humorous insights upon current events, sometimes discussing it with a contributor. The second half featured a panel discussion with guests and other celebrities about a major news story. The end segment was a questionnaire called "Keep it 100", where Larry asked his guests incisive questions, and Larry himself answered questions from Twitter users.

The series was canceled in August 2016 due to dropping/poor ratings. The final episode aired on August 18, 2016.

The Nightly Tropes:

  • Air Guitar: Larry does it during the title sequence, in a bathroom for some reason.
  • Audience Participation: Larry encourages audience members to cheer or boo the guests if they do or do not think that they were "keeping it 100." He usually ends most shows by answering one question submitted by viewers via Twitter. During March Madness, Larry asked viewers to submit suggestions of outlandish activities he should do depending on how the tournament goes.
  • Big Red Button: Apparently Larry has one for "science emergencies" that summons Neil deGrasse Tyson.
  • Big "WHAT?!": If something or someone confuses Larry, he'll say "Whuuuuuuuuut?" with an accompanying "Whuuuuuuuuut?" caption and backing vocal.
  • Black and Nerdy: Larry self-identifies as a "blerd", but only other nerds get to call him that.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Roy Albanese plays the proprietor of a water park as part of the coverage on Flint, Michigan's man-made water disaster. First he gets a nosebleed, then it comes out of his ears, and finally he's spitting up blood and teeth on camera.
  • Brutal Honesty: In "Keep it 100", Larry and guests are expected to answer with "100%" honesty. If Larry is satisfied with their honesty, he gives them an "I kept it 100" sticker. If he thinks they were lying, they get "weak tea" (a dry teabag) and booed by the audience.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mike Yard in the "Pardon the Integration" segments, where he and Rory argue an issue and then switch sides. Invariably, when Mike switches to the "bad" side—no matter how much Larry assures him the debate is meaningless and will be treated as such—Larry and Rory accuse him of really believing that, e.g., a woman shouldn't be president. Even when he tries to argue the point in a positive way, they gang up on him.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Began every show with "Tonightly!" until the cold open was eliminated in February 2016. He still uses it in promos.
    • Also "That's right, motherfucker, I haven't forgotten about you!" whenever he brings up Bill Cosby.
  • Chronic Villainy: Even when it's his own legal team, Bill Cosby just can't stop drugging people.
  • Compensating for Something: When Donald Trump shows up at an Iowa caucus in a shiny new helicopter:
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Mike Yard's The Y Files segment
  • Crowd Chant: At the start of the show, the audience chants Larry's name much like how they'd chant Stephen Colbert's name on The Colbert Report.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Larry.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Larry discussed the number of toddlers killed by guns weekly on October 20, 2015 episode, he had to use the Nightly Show's Soundproof Despair Booth to let out his depressing emotions about how often it happens while Mike Yard is there to keep the audience company. He remarked that the last time Larry had to use the booth was when the Dodgers lost to the Mets in the 2015 MLB Playoffs.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In a segment, even Satan, Idi Amin, and Adolf Hitler do not want to be associated with George Zimmerman.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Mike Yard's response to a children's book about George Washington's slaves baking him a cake (which conveniently doesn't say they're slaves until in a footnote on the very last page) is his own venture into "whimsical" portrayals of happy slaves entitled Massa Dies.
    Yard: Spoiler alert, Larry: massa dies.
  • Explosive Decompression: When Larry is blerding out about space:
    Larry: Anyway, I grew up loving space, and space love is a tough love, because the object of your affections, space, will crush your lungs and suck clean every fluid from your body in mere seconds. Is it like marriage? In many ways, yes, it is.
  • False Reassurance: Discussed. Larry refers to this as "Keeping it 70" as opposed to 100.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: If a guest takes too long to answer a "Keep it 100" question, Larry and the audience assume they're being dishonest, and they get "weak tea" and boos.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Larry's "Conservative Calculator" he breaks out when trying to solve the problem of how gay marriage would lead to 900,000 abortions... somehow.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Larry described the sexual harassment suit between Gretchen Carlson and Roger Ailes as:
    Larry: It's just a classic case of "She said, it said."
  • Jive Turkey: Seventies Larry, a/k/a "Soul Daddy," shown in clips from Larry's old seventies public access talk show.
  • Media Scaremongering: The 2016 election coverage uses dramatic music and negative-color graphics of the White House for THE UNBLACKENING: Blacklash 2016... and then fades out to Larry doing a little dance to the scare chords. Made better since the 2016 party conventions by showing Kaiju-like versions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton staging a Godzilla-esque battle.
  • Mic Drop: On the 1/28/16 show, Neil deGrasse Tyson does this after destroying rapper B.O.B.'s "proofs" that the Earth is flat and calling out him and other anti-intellectuals for deliberately trying to tear down science and spread ignorance.
    Neil DeGrasse Tyson: And by the way, this... is called "gravity"!
  • News Parody: While The Daily Show is a parody of network news, and The Colbert Report is a parody of personality-driven editorial programs, The Nightly Show is a parody of political pundit panel discussion shows. Like the aforementioned, it reads real news in a humorous way, but then kicks off to a panel discussion which involves a mix of pundits and comedians to give the debate an improv humor feel.
  • N-Word Privileges: Subverted. Just because Larry gives you permission does not mean you should actually use it.
    Larry: Just 'cause I told you, you shouldn't do that [bleep], you should know better!
    • Discussed during the June 22, 2015 episode. After the mass shooting at the black AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist, President Obama used the word in an interview about race relations, making the point that just because the word isn't used in polite society, and unacceptable if it is used, does not mean that the country's gotten over racism. Larry and guests agreed, also adding that what defines its acceptability is the context in which it's used.
    • invoked Also parodied during the same episode. After black CNN newsanchor Don Lemon held a sign that said the word during a segment about the AME shooting, Larry found his behavior unhelpful in challenging racism, humorously wondering how awkward it must have been for the (presumably) white CNN intern who ordered such a sign from a copy shop.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: On a show that's covered terrible civil rights violations and race based shootings, no story has been given more time than the Bill Cosby rape accusations.
    Larry: "That's right, motherf**ker, I haven't forgotten about you!"
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Larry gives Bill Cosby a merciless one when he comes to the conclusion that Cosby found his drugging and raping of women to be funny.
  • Sadistic Choice: The "Keep it 100" segments often involve having the guests choose between two hypothetical options, each of which has a major upside and a corresponding downside.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: On the December 8, 2015 episode, Mike Yard, Ricky Valez, and the Trump Troll refused to do their skits involving Donald Trump wanting to ban all Muslims from the US.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The show's "black egghead," Felonious Monk, speaks in an overlong stream of academia, and is subsequently puzzled when Larry has to pause and then translate it into simpler terms.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Whenever Larry gets booed by the audience during his Keep It 100 question.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: invoked Discussed by Larry on his episode about women and minorities in comics. He asserts that the backlash that sometimes follows reveals of Legacy Characters having new iterations of different races and sexes has less to do with racism and sexism, and more to do with nerds tending to be upset when something changes.
  • Totally Radical: The snowboarding, skateboarding, surfer-dude "radical Muslim" who's like, totally bummed about his good name being tarnished.
  • Tranquil Fury: When the deposition in regards to Bill Cosby's rape allegations were released, Wilmore responded by tearing him to pieces. In fact, the show has not covered any other issue for anywhere near as long as the Bill Cosby case.
    Wilmore: "I'm not letting it go, motherfucker."
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The recurring segment, Pardon the Integration - a parody of Crossfire-type segments where two people with polar opposite opinions yell back and forth at each other - usually uses Mike Yard as a Butt-Monkey when he needs to switch to the view that the show opposes by having Larry and Rory Albanese (who plays opposite him on the segment) completely misinterpret his arguments into Strawman Political territory. One time, however, Mike actually managed to get in an argument that stumped Rory in favor of voter ID laws. He then mocked people who say mean things about President Obama, which Rory and Larry then took as him saying mean things about the President, thus leading to Rory winning the debate again.