Unlike the insanely successful “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” with Stephen Colbert, “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” has failed to capture/retain the attention of Comedy Central’s audience. The last show will air this Thursday at 11:30 p.m. on August 18th.
Comedy Central’s target audience has been identified by The NY Times as males between the ages of 18 to 34 years old.
According to Tanya Giles, VP of research at Comedy Central, “Comedy is so central to who they are, the way they connect with other people, the way they get ahead in the world. One big takeaway is that unlike previous generations, humor, and not music, is their No. 1 form of self-expression.”
Part of the reason for the lack of viewer resonance is Jimmy Fallon’s monopolization of the nightly show circuit with his immensely successful “The Tonight Show”. The failure of the show is reminiscent of when “Family Guy” tried to catch a wider audience with “The Cleveland Show” where a previous sidekick black character was given an unsuccessful spin-off, perhaps because the character was too 2-dimensional to hold their own in comedy. Perhaps it was because a majority of the jokes were aimed at calling someone racist while perpetuating the “everyone is a racist” style that was seen in “The Mind of Mencia”, Ned Mencia’s show that was also cancelled.
Wilmore told The NY Times, “I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart and our fans to have had this opportunity, but I’m also saddened and surprised we won’t be covering this crazy election or ‘The Unblackening’ as we’ve coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”
Given Wilmore’s comment, it is debatable whether Comedy Central and/or their viewers are racist against him or Wilmore just hasn’t been as funny as his predecessors Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart.