“I was guided by wanting to put something on TV that wasn’t there. I’m not the person that you come to and you say, ‘We want to do the black version of this.’ It’s something I had always done, from everything I’d done—the sketches I’d pitched on In Living Color, to the stuff we did on The PJs, to even Insecure, doing that with Issa. HBO didn’t have that. It didn’t exist on premium cable, this type of show with black people. Even today, it guides the things I want to do. The people that don’t always get a voice, let’s give them a voice and put it somewhere where people can hear it.”
– Larry Wilmore, episode 234 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Emmy-award winning comedian Larry Wilmore sits with us this week! We discuss his upbringing in Pomona (8:15), discovering the profound nature of empathy (14:49), a clarifying summer working as an encyclopedia salesman in college (18:38), the influence of Mike Nichols and Robert Townsend (23:42), how he subverted the sitcom with The Bernie Mac Show (30:00), and the enduring legacy of The Nightly Show (42:02). Then, before we go, Larry speaks on his career-long focus on representation (47:35), and the power of gratitude (49:28).
- Listen to Larry’s own podcast, Black on the Air (Spotify, Apple, Stitcher).
- You can stream The Bernie Mac Show and Wilmore on Peacock.
- Read his LinkedIn piece, “Why I Haven’t Worked in 30 Years.”
- Follow Larry on Twitter & Instagram.
- Visit his personal website.
- Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.