Wilmore in 2016
|Birth name||Elister L. Wilmore|
October 30, 1961|
Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, podcast, books|
|Alma mater||California State Polytechnic University, Pomona|
|Genres||Observational comedy, black comedy, sketch comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||American politics, African-American culture, popular culture, current events, racism, religion|
(m. 1995; div. 2015)
Elister L. "Larry" Wilmore (born October 30, 1961) is an American comedian, writer, producer, and actor. Wilmore served as the "Senior Black Correspondent" on The Daily Show from 2006 to 2014, and hosted The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore from 2015 to 2016. He is also the creator of the sitcom The Bernie Mac Show. He serves as an executive producer for the ABC television series Black-ish. He is also the co-creator, alongside Issa Rae, of the HBO television series Insecure. Since May 2017, he has hosted a podcast, entitled "Black on the Air" in which he discusses current events and interviews a variety of guests.
Wilmore was born on October 30, 1961, in Los Angeles County, California, to parents Betty and Larry, and grew up in suburban Pomona. His family is from Evanston, Illinois. Wilmore was raised Catholic. He is the third of six children. His brother Marc, is also a television writer, actor, and producer.
As a child, Wilmore found interest in topics such as science, magic, science-fiction and fantasy, all of which have shaped the evolution of his comedy. In an interview with NPR, he described himself as a nerd, saying that "it used to be that the black comic figure had to have this bravado and always showed strength...now there's a comic figure where it's OK to just be a nerd and be black."
Wilmore graduated from Damien High School in La Verne, California in 1979. He studied theatre at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; he dropped out to pursue acting and stand-up comedy.
Beginning in the 1980s, Wilmore appeared in several small film and television roles, including a recurring role as a police officer on The Facts of Life. In the early to mid-1990s, he was on the writing staff of the talk show Into the Night With Rick Dees, the sketch comedy show In Living Color (his younger brother Marc was also a writer with In Living Color, but, unlike Larry, was also a cast member), and the sitcom Sister, Sister, where he portrayed a bus driver in one episode. Wilmore went on to be a writer and producer on a series of sitcoms, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Jamie Foxx Show.
In 1999, Wilmore co-created the animated comedy The PJs with Eddie Murphy and was executive producer until its conclusion in 2001. He subsequently created and produced The Bernie Mac Show, and he won an Emmy for writing the pilot episode. He created and produced Whoopi, with Whoopi Goldberg. From 2005 to 2007, he was a consulting producer for The Office and made an appearance on the show as Mr. Brown, during the episode, "Diversity Day" as a diversity consultant.
In 2006, Wilmore began appearing regularly on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, where he was billed as the "Senior Black Correspondent" or a derivative form of the title, such as the "Senior Executive Commander-in-Chief Who Happens To Be Black Correspondent" following the election of Barack Obama. His work on the show frequently centered on humorous observations of the Black experience in American society. In January 2009, Hyperion published Wilmore's I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts, a political humor book described by Booklist as "a faux collection of articles, essays, radio transcripts, and letters exploring the more ludicrous angles on race." Wilmore originated the titular phrase I'd Rather We Got Casinos in a January 2007 Daily Show appearance.
Wilmore has continued to make occasional acting appearances, including a role as a minister in I Love You, Man (2009) and a supporting role in Dinner for Schmucks (2010). In 2011, Wilmore began a recurring role on the ABC comedy Happy Endings, where he played Mr. Forristal, Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.)'s uptight boss. Since 2012, Wilmore has starred in the Showtime special titled Race, Religion and Sex, shot in Salt Lake City.
On April 30, 2016, Wilmore was the headliner at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. He came under fire for using the word "nigga" to refer to President Obama, saying "Barry, you did it my nigga." Wilmore defended his actions by telling Al Sharpton "I wanted to make a statement more than a joke...I really wanted to explain the historical implications of the Obama presidency from my point of view."
The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
On January 19, 2015 Wilmore began hosting The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, a late-night panel talk show that aired on Comedy Central. It was a spin-off of The Daily Show, and served as a replacement for The Colbert Report. It was produced by Jon Stewart's production company Busboy Productions. The show was criticized for a controversial segment featuring Bill Nye in September 2015, with Adweek characterizing it as the moment that Wilmore had "turned away from Colbert's legacy of intellectualism." The Nye segment may have negatively affected viewership, with ratings down more than half from the year before. On August 15, 2016, Comedy Central announced that Wilmore's show had been cancelled. The show ended on August 18, 2016, with a total of 259 episodes.
In June 2017, Wilmore came under fire for comments he had made during his time on The Nightly Show. When reporting on the case of Otto Warmbier, an American student arrested in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda sign, Wilmore repeatedly ridiculed Warmbier. Wilmore referred to Warmbier as "Otto Von Crybaby" and suggested that Warmbier thought he had "Frat Bro Privilege". Otto Warmbier died on June 19, 2017, after being medically evacuated from North Korea to the U.S. in a comatose state, after 15 months in prison. In his Black on the Air podcast on June 22, 2017, Wilmore offered an apology for his earlier remarks about Warmbier.
Wilmore has said that when he needs inspiration, he "observe[s] people. I ride the subway, sit in a coffee shop. There’s nothing funnier than real human behavior."
Wilmore was married to actress Leilani Jones for 20 years, and they have two children, John and Lauren. They divorced in 2015. Wilmore resided in San Marino, California with his family, until moving to New York City to work on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.
|1983||Good-bye, Cruel World||Sergeant, Thug|
|1990||The Ghost Writer||The Paramedic||TV movie|
|2009||I Love You, Man||Minister|
|2010||Dinner for Schmucks||Williams|
|2014||Date and Switch||Mr. Vernon|
|1983||The Facts of Life||Officer Ziaukus||2 episodes|
|1986||Sledge Hammer!||Mail Man, Terrorist #3||2 episodes|
|1992||In Living Color||Various||2 episodes|
|1994||Sister, Sister||Bus Driver||2 episodes|
|1999||The PJs||Various voices||2 episodes|
|2005–2007||The Office||Mr. Brown||2 episodes|
|2006–2014||The Daily Show||Himself (correspondent)||78 episodes|
|2006–2007||Help Me Help You||Larry, Jimmy||2 episodes|
|2008||How I Met Your Mother||Dr. Greer||Episode: "Everything Must Go"|
|2009–2010||Accidentally on Purpose||Dr. Roland||5 episodes|
|2011||Traffic Light||Harvey||2 episodes|
|2011||Love Bites||The Boss||Episode: "Firsts"|
|2011–2012||Happy Endings||Mr. Forristal||2 episodes|
|2012||Bullet in the Face||Racken's Mafiosi #1||Episode: "The World Stage"|
|2012||Race, Religion and Sex||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2013||Malibu Country||Mr. Clark||2 episodes|
|2013||NTSF:SD:SUV::||Historian||Episode: "A Hard Drive to Swallow"|
|2013||Instant Mom||Franklin Turner||Episode: "The Gift of the Maggies"|
|2014||Playing House||Dr. Ullman||Episode: "37 Weeks"|
|2014–2017||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Principal Larry (voice)||Main role|
|2015–2016||The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore||Himself (host)||259 episodes; also writer, executive producer|
|2016||White House Correspondents' Dinner||Himself (host)||TV special|
|2017||Difficult People||Larry Wilmore||Episode: "Passover Bump"|
|2017||The Mayor||Vern||Episode: "The Filibuster"|
As crew member
|1990–1991||Into the Night||6 episodes; writer|
|1991–1993||In Living Color||58 episodes; writer|
|1994–1995||Sister, Sister||5 episodes; writer|
|1995–1996||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||24 episodes; co-producer, writer|
|1996–1997||The Jamie Foxx Show||21 episodes; writer, supervising producer|
|1997–1998||Teen Angel||17 episodes; writer, consulting producer|
|1999–2001||The PJs||43 episodes; co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2001–2003||The Bernie Mac Show||104 episodes; creator, writer, director, executive producer|
|2003–2004||Whoopi||22 episodes; writer, executive producer|
|2005–2007||The Office||50 episodes; writer, consulting producer|
|2011||Love Bites||8 episodes; writer, consulting producer|
|2014–2015||Black-ish||24 episodes; Executive producer|
|2016–present||Insecure||Co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2018-present||Grown-ish||2 episodes; Executive producer|
- Wilmore, Larry (2009). I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts. Hachette Book Group. ISBN 978-1-4013-0955-8.
Awards and nominations
- The name Elister L. Wilmore is given at "The Birth of Elister Wilmore". California Birth Index. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2015. This matches the birth date and birthplace for "Larry Wilmore" at "Larry Wilmore Biography: Talk Show Host, Comedian (1961–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
- "Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air". The Ringer.
- "I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts". Hachette Books. 2015. p. Acknowledgments. ISBN 978-0316262811.
- Lee, Felicia R. "They Call Me Mister Correspondent", The New York Times, April 2, 2007.
- Wilmore, Larry "Larry Wilmore: The Wilmore Report."Chicago Humanities Festival, November 19, 2012.
- Bashir, Martin and Dan Morris. "Veteran TV Writer Moves in Front of the Camera", ABC News, October 10, 2007.
- Wilmore, I'd Rather We Got Casinos, page ?
- "With 100th Episode, Larry Wilmore's 'Nightly Show' Has Found Its Voice". npr.org. August 19, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- Baber, LaRue V. (January 31, 2003). "King of comedy - Damien High grad went from stand-up to winning an Emmy". The Whittier Daily News. Whittier, California.
- "'Black Thoughts' With Comedian Larry Wilmore". NPR. February 24, 2009.
- Deggans, Eric (July 29, 2001). "Salvaging the sitcom". St. Petersburg Times.
- "54th Emmy Awards: What They Said". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. September 23, 2002. p. D10.
- McFadden, Kay (September 9, 2003). "NBC scores near-hit, sure miss in 'Whoopi', 'Happy Family' - Fall TV". The Seattle Times. p. E1.
- Black History Month (video clip from episode of television show). The Daily Show. January 31, 2007.
Jon Stewart: Don't you feel that black history month serves a purpose? Larry Wilmore: Yes, the purpose of making up for centuries of oppression with 28 days of trivia. You know what? I'd rather we got casinos.
- Rhodan, Maya. "Larry Wilmore to Host White House Correspondents' Dinner". TIME.com. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- Ryan, April (5 May 2016). "Larry Wilmore's n-word 'joke' was an insult to black journalists". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- Riley, Rochelle (7 May 2016). "What Larry Wilmore did to the president". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- Coleburn, Christina (8 May 2016). "Larry Wilmore: N-Word Was No Joke". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- Griner, David (2016-02-16). "Larry Wilmore's Ratings Are 55% Lower Than The Colbert Report, and This Clip May Prove Why". Adweek. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
- "Comedy Central Cancels Larry Wilmore's Late-Night Show". The New York Times. August 16, 2016.
- Fondacaro, Nicholas (19 June 2017). "FLASHBACK: Comedy Central, HuffPo Mocked Capture of Otto Warmbier". Media Research Center. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- Rosenberg, Ayssa (21 June 2017). "What we can learn from the harshest responses to Otto Warmbier's captivity". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- Wilstein, Matt (June 22, 2017). "Larry Wilmore Apologizes to Otto Warmbier's Family". The Daily Beast.
- Wilmore, Larry (June 22, 2017). "The Situation in North Korea, Patriotism vs. Criticism, and Kumail Nanjiani on Arranged Marriages and 'The Big Sick' (Ep. 6)". Black on the Air. ART19.
- "Larry Wilmore biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- Schwindt, Oriana (July 27, 2015). "Goodbye, and Goodnight". TV Guide. p 19.
- Sims, David (January 21, 2015). "The Fearless Comedy of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
- Davias, Arianna (February 9, 2015). "Things you didn't know about Larry Wilmore". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "For Host Larry Wilmore, A Year Of 'Extraordinary' Highs And 'Humbling' Lows". NPR. February 19, 2015.
- Hawai'i Tony winner back in N.Y. spotlight, The Honolulu Advertiser; accessed June 20, 2015.
- Larry Wilmore profile, biography.com, A&E Television Networks, LLC; accessed June 20, 2015.
- "Nominees - NAACP Image Awards Website". Naacpimageawards.net. Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
- "NAACP Image Award Nominations Announced". naacp.org. December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Schwartz, Ryan (March 2, 2017). "2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards Nominations List — 'This Is Us,' 'Stranger Things'". TVLine. Archived from the original on April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
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