An announcement Monday that the Viacom-owned network will cancel his late-night program after its broadcast Thursday did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the host or his in-studio audience, as Wilmore had to quiet cheers of support even as he made his first on-screen comments about the decision. “The show was at our best when the news was at its worst,” he told the crowd.
“Our show going off the air has to mean one thing,” he joked. “Racism is solved.”
Wilmore’s program was launched on the premise that too many different groups of people weren’t getting the representation they deserved on TV, in the news and in wee-hours TV. The host, his executive producer Rory Albanese, writer/contributor Robin Thede and frequent guest Mike Yard were among the crew who took to the air night after night since the show launched in early 2015 to tackle subjects ranging from the challenges faced by black fathers and mothers to gang violence in Baltimore. In a signal of how the show adopted the plight of the underdog, Senator Bernie Sanders made an appearance on the program to suggest he might run for President of the United States. Wilmore urged guests to be brutally honest, or “keep it 100,” during the course of the show.
“We wanted to have a conversation on some very tough subjects, and we’ve had a lot of fun doing just that,” Wilmore told his viewers Monday night.
The host then spoke, as he does most evenings, in blunt and honest fashion about the world around him. He lashed out at Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, and urged viewers to support Hillary Clinton in the coming election. “Orange seems to be the biggest problem” facing America, he said, rather than the clash of black and white.
Wilmore said his only regret about the program going off the air this week is that he and his staff “won’t be around to cover this truly insane election season.” For the next three nights, however, he’ll be able to say what he likes.