Reported by Liku Zelleke
Jon Stewart was on TV screens on Thursday to give a heartwarming send-off to Larry Wilmore as “The Nightly Show” came to the end of its run. The final episode had Stewart praising Wilmore for all the work he had done “beautifully.”
Stewart said, “You gave voice to the underserved voices in the media arena, and you did it. It was a show that was raw and poignant and funny and smart and all of those things. You did it from scratch.”
Comedy Central has said that it stands by its decision to pull the plug on the show because it said it didn’t have enough ratings and hadn’t gained enough traction on social media.
Kent Alterman, president of Comedy Central, said that the show hadn’t “resonated in terms of our fans engaging with the show” by “consuming or sharing content or having a dialog” about it on social media.
Stewart, meanwhile, says Wilmore “started a conversation that was not on television” and praised his show for the diversity in both the staff and its featured stories. He added, “You worked with a group of people who you invited to that conversation to collaborate with you, to sharpen that conversation. And what you don’t realize is, you walk out of this room, and that conversation doesn’t end.”
Stewart says that the end of “The Nightly Show” will in fact be the beginning of something new. He went on to add that the experience Wilmore leaves behind will be what will make the people he had been working with do things in the future of the industry and that it will all flourish, “and that’s going to have you on it.”
“The Nightly Show” was a show that aimed to discuss and put the focus on current affairs through the eyes of African-Americans and other groups that were under-represented on TV.