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The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore

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I actually had no idea there was any stereotype about black people liking Kool-Aid.  I'd heard about grape soda, watermelon, and fried chicken, but nothing about Kool-Aid.  I'm white, we had Kool-Aid all the time when I was a kid, and so did all my friends. I didn't really like it much, but my mom bought it because it was cheaper than soda and there were five kids.  I've got no idea why Steve Ducey asked the woman about making Kool-Aid, it wasn't like they were talking about what type of drinks to serve to kids on Thanksgiving.  Was he really trying to make a snide comment, or is he just stupid?  

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I found it kinda scary how quickly that small bit of Red Kool-Aid dyed that glass of OJ red. Hardly a second of coral, and straight to red.

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I actually had no idea there was any stereotype about black people liking Kool-Aid.  I'd heard about grape soda, watermelon, and fried chicken, but nothing about Kool-Aid.  I'm white, we had Kool-Aid all the time when I was a kid, and so did all my friends. I didn't really like it much, but my mom bought it because it was cheaper than soda and there were five kids.  I've got no idea why Steve Ducey asked the woman about making Kool-Aid, it wasn't like they were talking about what type of drinks to serve to kids on Thanksgiving.  Was he really trying to make a snide comment, or is he just stupid?  

Me too!!!! (I grew up in a 99%-white, middle-class neighborhood, and Kool-Aid was very common.) I seriously had no idea that drinking Kool-Aid was a racial stereotype. At this point most of the time when I hear about Kool-Aid, it's in the other context Larry mentioned ("drinking the Kool-Aid"). Live and learn. I found this 2012 article exploring the subject by an African-American blogger, so it definitely seems to be a thing.

 

However, Brian Kilmeade -- the guy who asked about the Kool-Aid (it wasn't Steve Doocy; Stephen Colbert used to refer to Kilmeade as "the brown haired guy who's not Steve Doocy") -- has a reputation as being a very dumb guy. Check out the "Fox & Friends" skits they do on "SNL" -- Bobby Moynihan portrays Kilmeade as a drooling idiot.

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Ricky Velez and I are on the same page about Trump. So I guess Trump does unite people. Usually I can't stand Velez's contributions to the show.

 

Does anyone think that Trump asking for money to participate in the debate is a sign he's getting tired of the exercise and might eventually drop out? Or is he just feeling like his popularity gives him the leverage to try a stunt like that, just to throw his weight around?

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In the interest of fairness I have to give Ricky Velez credit - he was good on the panel last night. Maybe he is finally learning that you don't have to be an ignorant fool in the discussion just because you play it in your bits? You would think that watching Rory Albanese all this time he would have figured that out a lot sooner, but I'll take what I can get.

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I think Ricky is a little jealous of Trump's ability to be brazenly ignorant with no consequences.

But seriously, the Trump candidacy reminds me of a dark mirror version of Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.

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Does anyone think that Trump asking for money to participate in the debate is a sign he's getting tired of the exercise and might eventually drop out? Or is he just feeling like his popularity gives him the leverage to try a stunt like that, just to throw his weight around?

 

My first instinct is that he's purposefully testing boundaries, to see exactly how much he can get away with. But since that's a thing I've consciously done, my first instinct may not be applicable to DT. Maybe he really needs the dough? 

 

I hadn't seen that Jake Tapper clip. "Srsly?!?" That was awesome.

 

IA that Ricky was good on last night's panel.

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I think for the last debate Trump threatened to not attend unless it was cut from 3 hours to 2 hours. The media should have refused. So, since he got away with that, I think he's pushing to see what else he can do. As the frontrunner, or at least second, he's in the more vulnerable position in the debate, so I don't think it's a loss for him if he doesn't attend. Because all he has to do is live tweet and get just as much PR. 

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As a frequent critic of Ricky Velez, he was decent on that panel the other night.  I was halfway wondering if that was really him or his evil (good) twin brother there or something.  Since he actually did make a good contribution to the panel that time around.  Maybe it's just a case of a broken clock right twice a day and that sort of thing. 

 

And I also LOL'ed at Tapper's "Seriously!?" with regards to that Trump mouthpiece.  Comedy gold.  Wish others would act more incredulous over what the Trumpster has to say.

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Great episode last night, but I think they were too quick to gloss over Zorro as just "a vigilante." It's always been obvious (to me) that Batman was partially based off Zorro, and it's time that character got the respect it deserves.

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Great episode last night, but I think they were too quick to gloss over Zorro as just "a vigilante." It's always been obvious (to me) that Batman was partially based off Zorro, and it's time that character got the respect it deserves.

 

The creators of Batman openly acknowledged the Zorro influence and it's also been a story element in the comics and cartoons. And the whole discussion ignored a lot of crossover between various types of heroic characters. But Larry has always claimed to be a nerd and there is perhaps no better validation for that claim than making a sweeping statement about genre fiction and dismissing all counterarguments by defining your terms to include only what supports your thesis.

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It reminds me of the Priest scandal. There were relatively few but instead of telling them to leave and go to jail or accept a permanent post at some mountain top monastery. But noooo they whitewashed and covered up and make the whole thing a hundred times worse.

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Larry wondered how they tell if names influence likelihood of being hired, and it's done by sending out identical resumes (except for changing the names). It's similar to "testing" done to determine whether race-based housing discrimination is going on. I can't remember where I was reading about the names and hiring issue, but it was a real study, not idle speculation.

Edited by possibilities
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You're right, poss! That kids with weird names are deviant, or that people think that kids with weird names are deviant and funnel them into the criminal justice system at a higher percentage isn't really open for debate anymore. All the research points at the latter. Robin almost went there, but pulled back. We'll remember Obama's speech (after Charlestown? I forget) where he comments about opportunity saying "giving Jimmy an interview but not Jamal."

 

I liked the Santa sketch. He should have abandoned the second half of the Swedish joke, though. The first half's laugh made the second half anti-climactic. 

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I'm glad someone pointed out how ridiculous all the gun sales are over last weekend. I liked the BBC clip to, I think that really captured it. 

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The thing is, I am kind of bothered by the mockage of naming outside the "top 50 names for whitey"-- yes, I agree there are limits, and some parents make naming choices I do not understand or approve of, but it bothers me that you have to be "Larry" or "Robin" (or "Trevor") in order to be hired. Barak aside, we are losing a lot of talent by tracking people according to conformity of parental naming, and really it's racist to limit people to passing as white. (Also, I love the name Jamal. I named a cat Jamal, just so I could say it more often). And Larry, who has done interviews saying he became a writer and producer because he wasn't getting roles as a "non-urban" Black man, so he realized he had to create them, should know that this kind of whitewashing is a bad idea.

 

Grumble grumble.

 

Why are people so weird about this issue? I know a white woman named Sharin (with that i instead of an o) and even that seems off-beat. I mean, c'mon! Do we really want a situation like I had one year, where there were 3 Erics and 5 Davids in one classroom of 20?

 

Rant over. I will stick to naming cats, so the workplaces of the world are safe from any naming decisions I might make.

 

White people name kids after celebrities, also. But it's less obvious because if you were named "Susan" after Susan Hayward (I know a white middle class woman in her 50s who was), people don't notice. "Denzel" and "Mariah" are not ridiculous names inherently, it's only because "Susan" and "Bruce" are white names that kids named after famous S or B blend in.

 

I said I was done ranting. I don't know why I'm still on it.
 

And I do realize there are some people who go too far. I just don't want people to be intimidated by ethnic shaming, and have to choose only from a short list of "white approved" names, in order to blend in. It's depressing.

 

Re guns, this made me laugh a lot:

(Australian comedian talks about Americans and guns) Edited by possibilities
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I had not heard about Trump and the 6 million 112 year olds, so I googled "six million people over the age of 112" to find out when/where he said it.

 

Found this:

http://crooksandliars.com/2015/12/trump-tells-media-fact-check-his-lie-6

and this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2015/03/10/thousands-of-u-s-workers-older-than-100-that-might-be-social-security-fraud/

 

So he didn't make up the number, he just made up all the facts about what the number referred to.

Edited by possibilities
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Thanks for looking that up! I was wondering what the hell he was on about this time. Seriously, he's like that Weekend Update character on SNL who mangles every single rumor he's ever heard and touts it confidently as fact. It all has a source, he just says "look it up, it's out there!" and when someone finds the source and we can all say it's plainly NOT what he's claiming, he insists he's been proven right and asks where his apology is.

 

The little confederates' roundtable sketch was pretty fun last night.

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So a group of white protesters carrying guns is ok, not a threat.  But you have to know that if there was a group of black protesters carrying guns, we'd have another cop on black shooting incident.

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Ricky is much better acting out someone else's script. They can keep him around as a curmudgeonly Elf if they want to.

 

Loved Larry talking about how gorgeous Trevor is. Also, his on-going Cosby ranting.

 

Jesus looks like every Jewish boy I went to Sunday School with when I was growing up, which make sense since that's what he was, "Last Supper" (seder) and the minyan of disciples included.

Edited by possibilities

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I don't know why it struck me that Ricky's elf was manspreading, but it did. The 'real' elf sits with his knees primly together!

 

Except for the hairdo, Carson's Jesus looked just like him. I'm thinking that's probably the point: either Ben's got a god complex or it's some riff on man being made in god's image. Or, you know, both.

 

I agree with Robin that an Idris-looking Jesus would certainly attract followers.

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Rory wasn't quite correct in saying that religious people don't like science. Although, pointing to Huckabee as an immediate example is correct. Those types of people aren't really religious though. They're using religion to exclude people from society. My friend is a high school physics teacher, and she's doing atmospheric scientific research with a federal agency. She takes her family to church every Sunday. Like, you're dressing up and going to church. The guy that mapped the human genome is religious, for a more famous person. There's far more people like that. Problem is, they don't have the time to speak out against all these other crackpots because they have actual jobs to do. 

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That's hilarious about the Elf spreading his legs. I've never actually seen one of those shelf elves in person.

 

I get that people like to see a Jesus they identify with, but I find it hard to imagine worshipping one that looks like the dudes I grew up with, because of the clay feet issue. I think the prohibitions on drawing likenesses are very wise. It prevents both idolatry and cynicism. If The Divine is everywhere and nowhere, you can't get too cocky or too disillusioned.

Edited by possibilities

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I was going to say NSF, but I knew that wasn't right.

I thought the guest was wrong too. The message should matter most, but clearly, given the 1000+ years of Christian art, there is an obvious reason why Jesus looks like he does.

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Yeah, nice of you to act like a decent person, Lindsay Graham. How unprecedented. Except for the fact that you're constantly calling for American ground forces to invade literally everywhere when there's a problem around the world. 

 

The panel missed one point too: there's lots of guys watching women's soccer. There's a few players with national recognition.

Edited by ganesh

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This might be the first time the panel was actually better than the rest of the show.

 

I really disliked the treatment of the Japan marriage law story. Why is it bad for the law to stop forcing a waiting period on women and not men? It might not be as bad as some things that go on in the world, but it's not wrong for them to change it, so why the extreme mockage? And it just wasn't funny to me to see Hollie harass the stage manager, either. Larry asks why we don't listen to women. Good question! Maybe stop mocking it when a wrong-headed law gets changed, and then the show will be more qualified to answer.

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Why is it bad for the law to stop forcing a waiting period on women and not men?

 

Did the 6 month law apply to both sexes?  I was under the impression it only applied to women.  But yeah, the skit wasn't one of their best.

 

The show has really grown on me.  I love the fact that it brings such a different perspective on so many issues that we don't see in most other late night shows because of all the black writers and panelists.  While I definitely miss TCR and its political humor, I definitely think TNS is a good, but different, replacement.

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I thought they were mocking the fact that there was such a law in the first place.  That Holly's skit was supposed to show, 'oh yeah, this is what Japan must have thought women would be like if they didn't have the law/did away with the law.'

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That's what I got out of it. Japan is stuck in the 1950s. They're population is skewed toward the elderly and there's not enough young people working to take care of them. I think the Japanese supreme court also upheld a law that women have to take the men's surname too. 

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And it just wasn't funny to me to see Hollie harass the stage manager, either.

Yeh, they needed to find a Asian fella who was going to be game somewhat.

The fella they had DID NOT want Hollie anywhere near him. Never seen such reluctant body language at all. At the end credits she was hugging him and he had both his hands in his pockets.

What was up with that?

Dude has issues...

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He was supposed to play it that way. At the end she keeps smiling at him and it looked like she was trying to break him up. I think he started to lose it when the credits started. 

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I went back and re-watched it, and I will take all y'all's word for it that the show was mocking the law and not the people who want to change it, but the reason I took it the other way is that in the intro, Larry was saying "it's about time" and "Japanese women have suffered for long enough" and then after they said what the law in question actually was, he kind of did a "wait a minute, back up... what??" reaction, which to me read like he was backing out of his original support and flipping it to be that the women complaining were the ones in the wrong for making a big deal about a "relatively minor restriction that any sane person wouldn't really have problems complying with." He does that exact pattern when, for instance, he starts praising someone who's usually crazy for saying something that seems reasonable... and then once the statement is taken in context it turns out they're actually crazy after all.

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This story that's going around, about a woman who set up an "Ask A Muslim" opportunity on the street actually had a really positive experience, helped me have a little hope that the point of view that's causing the "it's no longer funny and now I'm scared" reaction in Larry lately (and in me) is not as prevalent as the media makes it seem.

 

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/12/28/1464300/-Muslim-woman-sets-up-Ask-A-Muslim-stand-in-Mass-rather-than-ask-most-tell-what-s-on-their-minds. If you follow the links inside this story, and read her summary on Facebook and listen to the interview she did for NPR, it helps even more to undo the horrible feeling I've been carrying around about how "the sky is falling! the racist sky is falling!!"-- not to minimize the reality, but just to know it's not completely unopposed.

 

And then I thought: why isn't there a TV show offering this as a regular feature? And I think TNS would be a perfect place to do it. Have "Ask a Muslim" become a regular feature-- and make it for real, not a non-Muslim comedian mocking the stupidity of Islamophobes (like Holly and the Japanese sexism piece), but a real Muslim answering real questions-- either in the studio or on the street. The right person could make it fun, but even if it isn't all fun, it would still fit the show. TNS is a comedy show but it's also an issues show, and it's already talking about this subject, so why not take it further and do something like this, since the show has already come to the conclusion that it's not enough to laugh about it or just passively lament it anymore?

 

I also think if they do it well, it has potential to go viral and give the ratings a kick.

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That ("Ask a Muslim") sounds like something the late, great "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" would have done. They were really good at person-on-the-street stuff.

 

BTW, I am on some kind of mailing list for Comedy Central superfans and occasionally got a survey from them about their programming. About a week ago I got one with lots and lots of questions about TNS. They are doing a focus group via phone about it in early January. I opted out of the focus group because my daytime schedule tends to vary and I didn't want to commit to anything, but I did answer all the survey questions. You had a chance to give them your opinion of each correspondent, so I was able to convey my love for Mike Yard and my disdain for Ricky (I did note that he'd been somewhat better on the last panel he was on). There were also questions about whether you'd like to see panels with only one or two participants instead of three. Anyway, if the show shakes up its format a bit in 2016, it may be in response to the opinions they get from regular TNS viewers.

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I think three on the panel is ok. They've done really cool panels with the CNN woman and there was a professor on a few times, and the other two were regulars. What they need to avoid is the comics who are just there to work on their 3 minutes of material. You can't have Yard and Rory on every panel, but they need those kind of people on that side of the table.  

There's been a few "famous people" as the third, who got the show and were able to be entertaining and engaging in that context. That's all they need for people on the panel. 

They also did a great job with themed topics, like "here's what you need to know about trans-gendered people".

Larry just needs to be a better moderator. 

 

With only two people, the features with Larry and whomever having soul food work well. 

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and Cosby!

That motherf***er has not been forgotten about! 

 

For real, I don't see Larry not addressing that pretty much at the top when the show comes back. I'm curious, though. Larry seems to straight up hate Cosby. And not that he doesn't have good reason because...Cosby. But I wonder - did Larry know something or did he just get some creepo vibe off of Cosby? Larry's certainly been around and been in the TV world long enough to have seen something.

 

ETA: Oh, hey, Google and ye shall find. Cosby was apparently an asshole to Larry's mother.

 

I'm looking forward to having the show back. Mike Yard and Holly Walker, for me, have been the total revelations of the show. I consistently laugh at their bits. I don't like Ricky Velez, but for me the real weak link is Grace Parra. She seems to have to goad the audience into reacting, which is never good. I hope this year there's less of her.

Edited by BabyVegas
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but for me the real weak link is Grace Parra. She seems to have to goad the audience into reacting,

 

My instinct is just that she's not quite comfortable yet; I hope she improves.

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I hope the Cosby trial makes OJ look like a jaywalking ticket. Larry has been on Cosby since the accusations started.

 

I was a Bernie Mac fan since the 80s, and The Bernie Mac show was really good. I didn't know Larry was involved with that show. I highly recommend it. I wouldn't say the show was ahead of its time, but it toed that line. It was a really sad day when Bernie Mac passed. 

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I hope the Cosby trial makes OJ look like a jaywalking ticket. Larry has been on Cosby since the accusations started.

 

The whole OJ trial was an eyesore for our society and our culture that I hope something like that would never repeat itself. So I'm wishing that Cosby's trial is done behind closed doors. Although our glorious news infotainment conglomerates, spearheaded by CNN's repulsive Jeff Zucker, will have something obnoxiously to say about that.

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I wish the teasers for the ep didn't telegraph the mugshot-as-present joke. That would have totally been way funnier as a surprise.

 

I like 'slave math' as a funny construct, but I don't think Mike got the right result. I'll give him partial credit.

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