The Nightly Show is over. Larry Wilmore ended his show on Thursday with a humble farewell, and Jon Stewart, who served as Executive Producer on the show, was on hand to see him off.
After Wilmore joked about how much booze he had gotten from other shows, he spoke with all of his correspondents, who were mostly in the process of moving on to their next job or vacation.
As Larry was about to move on to recent Trump news, Jon Stewart walked on stage to say, “What did I miss?”
After a few jokes back and forth, Stewart got serious with Wilmore, sending him off with very heartfelt words of advice. “Do not confuse cancellation with failure,” he said. “What you, my friend, have been tasked to do, you have done and done beautifully.
“You gave voice to underserved voices in the media arena. It was a show that was raw and poignant and funny and smart and all those things,” Stewart went on. “You took something and got better every f—king day.”
“Did you ‘resonate’ with an audience?” he asked, mocking Comedy Central head Kent Alterman’s words. “I would say, not only that, but in an important way, in a way that you don’t even realize yet and won’t reveal itself for years to come and it’s this: You started a conversation that was not on television when you began.
“And 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.
“And all the people that you work with are going to take what they learned here, and what they learned from you, and the beautiful experience that they had, and you’re going to start to see them doing things in the business as well, and taking that and taking other experiences, and you’re going to watch that flourish. And that’s going to have you on it.”
Wilmore then closed his show by pointing to the map behind him and explaining why it was upside down. He wanted his show to make people “see the world in a way that may not make everybody comfortable and to present it with a cast of people who don’t always get to have a voice on that.”
“So on that front, I feel that we’ve been very successful,” he said. “And I couldn’t be prouder of what we accomplished.”
He then had to “keep it 100” in his final moments, “So I will just say this: I’m not done yet.”