The White House Correspondent's Dinner by Marcinho Savant, Entertainment Writer
LARRY WILMORE (Image credit: www.thelarrywilmore.com)
Comedian, and Late-night host, Larry Wilmore, had a very tough act to follow, having played immediately after the President, at the top of the White House Correspondent's dinner.
The room was icy to his pitch. His took a daring number of risky punchlines, most of which, in the room, were, painfully, DOA. Wilmore appeared to be utterly shocked that he was landing only roughly one in 8 deliveries. And then he beat the "Zodiac Killer" horse to a pulp. What did I just watch?
I like, Mr. Wilmore. I watch his show. I like his show. I enjoyed his segments on the former Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I'm not hating. I'm hurting. This event was a golden key to a demographic well-spring of, potential, new viewership--- hard against type. It was an opportunity squandered.
Some of his jokes were downright rude, worse even than the most horrifyingly tasteless at some of the world's most garish, and jaw-dropping roasts. Remember the, agonizing, situation with The Situation?
I'm stunned at the disappointment i felt following his set, and had only hoped for his astronomical success. It didn't happen. In what I'd prefer to call a series of gross miscalculations, or perhaps bad advice, I cannot believe that the funny, ironic, daring, economical comedy of one of my favorites, fell so flat.
He's a pro, and as such, he is well-aware that some shows sink, and some sail. His homage to the significance of the presidency of the nation's first black Commander-in-Chief, was heartfelt, moving, and sincere. His choice to sully the portion with a slang-ish sign-off ("You DID it, my #NIGGAH"!) was shockingly inappropriate, and unbecoming the level of this event. It cheapened the man, the leader, the icon, the inspiration, and the accomplishments of our President.
Roasts are roasts... jabs are jabs... but, judging by the reactions; black, white, and other, in the room... his stint was just as unbearable as that drunk aunt at the reception who just won't sit down--- no matter how hard we pray. Like when you tell a punchline, that you just KNOW is going to "KILL", only to hear the sounds of crickets in response.
The routine was presumptuous, and lazy. It took a lot for granted, and frankly, drank it's own "Kool-aid", in the "DAMN, that's FUNNY RIGHT THERE!" department. There is, in all things, artistic, a very fine line between tacky and tasteful. Effective, and Godawful. Mr. Wilmore will, doubtless, survive this disaster, and he deserves to.
His worldview, humor, and talent, have a well-earned place in the television pantheon. It is my faith, and observation of his skill, which leads me to remain in his corner as a performer. Anybody can have a "bad day". Learning from a failure, leads to future triumph.
Chin Up, Mr. Wilmore... This was an important experience. In all respects. May the lessons matter.