- Anvilicious: The show's large, some might say excessive focus on racism.
- Bizarro Episode: As part of 2016's "March Madness" dare competition, Larry hosted the April 7, 2016 episode playing his 70s alter-ego Soul Daddy.
- Broken Base:
- The show tends to focus a lot on inequality, and racism is of course a major topic, this has led to the complaint that the show is only about race relations. Others are more forgiving since almost no one is willing to really talk about such a powder keg topic, even though people really should, and who better than a comedian, who can at least keep the tone mostly light.
- The show's panel format. Some people enjoy the format because it gives everyone a chance to voice their views instead of relying on secondhand information from the host. Others find it too chaotic for any meaningful discussion, or depending on the panelists present, that it gives undue screentime to Jerk Asses, extremists, or people who are just plain wrong.
- Exactly how funny is the show? While it certainly does well enough for itself, there are some who feel that the show's strong focus on dark, serious issues, combined with Larry Wilmore generally carrying a dry, pessimistic tone throughout it ends up making it feel like less of a parody of the news and more like an unusually cynical news program with some occasional jokes tacked on, along with overly wacky correspondent sketches.
- Don't Shoot the Message: Some viewers don't like the fact that Larry wears his opinion on his sleeve much more than either Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert generally did, making the show often come off as operating on a very aggressive case of Black and White Morality (no pun intended), even if they agree with a lot of what he's saying.
- Growing the Beard:
- Since the panel was reduced from 4 guest panelists to 3, and the table became an actual round table, the panel discussions have been more orderly.
- The show's biting attacks against racism have garnered greater acclaim after the June 2015 AME church mass shooting by a white supremacist, when right-wing media sources, most notably Fox News Channel, tried to deny that the shooter was motivated by racism despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- When dealing with the Bill Cosby rape allegations, Wilmore asked, "I just have to ask: Why don't we believe these women?" A later deposition by Cosby had him admit to getting drugs for that purpose.
- Larry's comments on Otto Frederick Warmbier when he was first arrested, demonstrating absolutely no sympathy for, and mocking, a man who had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for (allegedly; the video evidence is so indistinct it could literally have been anyone, and his "confession" was so full of broken english and ridiculous statements only a member of North Korea could take seriously that it was obvious it was forced) stealing a propaganda poster. He mocked Otto for being stupid enough to go to North Korea in the first place and described his begging for mercy from the DPRK as "crocodile tears". If the segment was ever funny to begin with, it decidedly isn't now, seeing as Otto is now dead and all evidence points to him having been tortured via oxygen deprivation.
- Heartwarming in Hindsight: The February 3, 2015 show opened with Larry saying "We're talking same-sex marriage, or as it will soon be called: marriage." On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states, striking down all marriage inequality bans, thereby making it just "marriage".
- Internet Backdraft:
- Wilmore's episode on Bruce Jenner coming out as Transgender drew a lot of ire for being at best awkward and not very funny or worse outright insensitive to transgender people.
- There was a backdraft when the panel had on an Anti-Vacciner who was largely allowed to voice their views unchallenged - the reaction was bad enough that a producer for the show had to come on and explain that they wanted to get both sides of every story, which for many wasn't good enough.
- On April 14, 2015, Larry Wilmore not only revealed that he's all for the death penalty but the panel also made several jokes about how prisoners deserve to be raped in prison and should have a sex change operation forced on them beforehand. Panel Guest Alex Wagner, the only voice of reason, walked out a this point. Internet reaction was rather cool, to put it mildly.
- When they invited beloved scientist Bill Nye to discuss water on Mars (calling this the discovery of the decade might be putting it lightly), viewers weren't happy with the panelists constant shouting of how Americans don't care, and that the only way this could be relevant was if we got Mars porn out of it. While, to his credit, Wilmore is clearly on Bill's side and tries to get the conversation on track, it's still mainly just his two panelists shouting at Nye. Viewers were not happy with their treatment of the subject matter and their guest.
- Larry's not-apology a couple weeks later didn't help matters either.
- Some believe that this, combined with Jon Stewart's departure from the Daily Show the previous month, resulted in a drop in viewership so severe that it ultimately lead to the show's cancellation in August of 2016.
- Tough Act to Follow: Stephen Colbert created a pop cultural phenomenon. Whether or not Wilmore lived up to that is up in the air. It probably didn't since its poor ratings lead to it being cancelled and not even lasting two years.
YMMV / The Nightly Show