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Wilmore in 2016
|Birth name||Elister L. Wilmore|
October 30, 1961 |
Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, podcast, books|
|Alma mater||California State Polytechnic University, Pomona|
|Genres||Observational comedy, black comedy, sketch comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||American politics, African-American culture, popular culture, current events, racism, religion|
|Spouse||Leilani Jones (m. 1995; div. 2015)|
Elister L. "Larry" Wilmore (born October 30, 1961) is an American comedian, writer, producer, and actor. Wilmore served as the "Senior Black Correspondent" on The Daily Show from 2006 to 2014, and hosted The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore from 2015 to 2016. He is also the creator of the sitcom The Bernie Mac Show. He serves as an executive producer for the ABC television series Black-ish. He is also the co-creator, alongside Issa Rae, of the HBO television series Insecure. Since May 2017, he has hosted a podcast, entitled "Black on the Air" in which he discusses current events and interviews a variety of guests.
Wilmore was born on October 30, 1961, in Los Angeles County, California, to parents Betty and Larry, and grew up in suburban Pomona. His family is from Evanston, Illinois. Wilmore was raised Catholic. He is the third of six children. His brother Marc, is also a television writer, actor, and producer.
As a child, Wilmore found interest in topics such as science, magic, science-fiction and fantasy, all of which have shaped the evolution of his comedy. In an interview with NPR, he described himself as a nerd, saying that "it used to be that the black comic figure had to have this bravado and always showed strength...now there's a comic figure where it's OK to just be a nerd and be black."
Wilmore graduated from Damien High School in La Verne, California in 1979. He studied theatre at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; he dropped out to pursue acting and stand-up comedy.
Beginning in the 1980s, Wilmore appeared in several small film and television roles, including a recurring role as a police officer on The Facts of Life. In the early to mid-1990s, he was on the writing staff of the talk show Into the Night With Rick Dees, the sketch comedy show In Living Color (his younger brother Marc was also a writer with In Living Color, but, unlike Larry, was also a cast member), and the sitcom Sister, Sister, where he portrayed a bus driver in one episode. Wilmore went on to be a writer and producer on a series of sitcoms, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Jamie Foxx Show.
In 1999, Wilmore co-created the animated comedy The PJs with Eddie Murphy and was executive producer until its conclusion in 2001. He subsequently created and produced The Bernie Mac Show, and he won an Emmy for writing the pilot episode. He created and produced Whoopi, with Whoopi Goldberg. From 2005 to 2007, he was a consulting producer for The Office and made an appearance on the show as Mr. Brown, during the episode, "Diversity Day" as a diversity consultant.
In 2006, Wilmore began appearing regularly on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, where he was billed as the "Senior Black Correspondent" or a derivative form of the title, such as the "Senior Executive Commander-in-Chief Who Happens To Be Black Correspondent" following the election of Barack Obama. His work on the show frequently centered on humorous observations of the Black experience in American society. In January 2009, Hyperion published Wilmore's I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts, a political humor book described by Booklist as "a faux collection of articles, essays, radio transcripts, and letters exploring the more ludicrous angles on race." Wilmore originated the titular phrase I'd Rather We Got Casinos in a January 2007 Daily Show appearance.
Wilmore has continued to make occasional acting appearances, including a role as a minister in I Love You, Man (2009) and a supporting role in Dinner for Schmucks (2010). In 2011, Wilmore began a recurring role on the ABC comedy Happy Endings, where he played Mr. Forristal, Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.)'s uptight boss. Since 2012, Wilmore has starred in the Showtime special titled Race, Religion and Sex, shot in Salt Lake City.
On April 30, 2016, Wilmore was the headliner at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. He came under fire for using the word "nigga" to refer to President Obama, saying "Barry, you did it my nigga." Wilmore defended his actions by telling Al Sharpton "I wanted to make a statement more than a joke...I really wanted to explain the historical implications of the Obama presidency from my point of view."
On January 19, 2015 Wilmore began hosting The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, a late-night panel talk show that aired on Comedy Central. It was a spin-off of The Daily Show, and served as a replacement for The Colbert Report. It was produced by Jon Stewart's production company Busboy Productions. The show was criticized for a controversial segment featuring Bill Nye in September 2015, with Adweek characterizing it as the moment that Wilmore had "turned away from Colbert's legacy of intellectualism." The Nye segment may have negatively affected viewership, with ratings down more than half from the year before. On August 15, 2016, Comedy Central announced that Wilmore's show had been cancelled. The show ended on August 18, 2016, with a total of 259 episodes.
In June 2017, Wilmore came under fire for comments he had made during his time on The Nightly Show. When reporting on the case of Otto Warmbier, an American student arrested in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda sign, Wilmore repeatedly ridiculed Warmbier. Wilmore referred to Warmbier as "Otto Von Crybaby" and suggested that Warmbier thought he had "Frat Bro Privilege". Otto Warmbier died on June 19, 2017, after being medically evacuated from North Korea to the U.S. in a comatose state, after 15 months in prison. In his Black on the Air podcast on June 22, 2017, Wilmore offered an apology for his earlier remarks about Warmbier.
Wilmore has said that when he needs inspiration, he "observe[s] people. I ride the subway, sit in a coffee shop. There’s nothing funnier than real human behavior."
Wilmore was married to actress Leilani Jones for 20 years, and they have two children, John and Lauren. They divorced in 2015. Wilmore resided in San Marino, California with his family, until moving to New York City to work on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.
|1983||Good-bye, Cruel World||Sergeant, Thug|
|1990||The Ghost Writer||The Paramedic||TV movie|
|2009||I Love You, Man||Minister|
|2010||Dinner for Schmucks||Williams|
|2014||Date and Switch||Mr. Vernon|
|1983||The Facts of Life||Officer Ziaukus||2 episodes|
|1986||Sledge Hammer!||Mail Man, Terrorist #3||2 episodes|
|1992||In Living Color||Various||2 episodes|
|1994||Sister, Sister||Bus Driver||2 episodes|
|1999||The PJs||Various voices||2 episodes|
|2005–2007||The Office||Mr. Brown||2 episodes|
|2006–2014||The Daily Show||Himself (correspondent)||78 episodes|
|2006–2007||Help Me Help You||Larry, Jimmy||2 episodes|
|2008||How I Met Your Mother||Dr. Greer||Episode: "Everything Must Go"|
|2009–2010||Accidentally on Purpose||Dr. Roland||5 episodes|
|2011||Traffic Light||Harvey||2 episodes|
|2011||Love Bites||The Boss||Episode: "Firsts"|
|2011–2012||Happy Endings||Mr. Forristal||2 episodes|
|2012||Bullet in the Face||Racken's Mafiosi #1||Episode: "The World Stage"|
|2012||Race, Religion and Sex||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2013||Malibu Country||Mr. Clark||2 episodes|
|2013||NTSF:SD:SUV::||Historian||Episode: "A Hard Drive to Swallow"|
|2013||Instant Mom||Franklin Turner||Episode: "The Gift of the Maggies"|
|2014||Playing House||Dr. Ullman||Episode: "37 Weeks"|
|2014–2017||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Principal Larry (voice)||Main role|
|2015–2016||The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore||Himself (host)||259 episodes; also writer, executive producer|
|2016||White House Correspondents' Dinner||Himself (host)||TV special|
|2017||Difficult People||Larry Wilmore||Episode: "Passover Bump"|
|2017||The Mayor||Vern||Episode: "The Filibuster"|
|1990–1991||Into the Night||6 episodes; writer|
|1991–1993||In Living Color||58 episodes; writer|
|1994–1995||Sister, Sister||5 episodes; writer|
|1995–1996||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||24 episodes; co-producer, writer|
|1996–1997||The Jamie Foxx Show||21 episodes; writer, supervising producer|
|1997–1998||Teen Angel||17 episodes; writer, consulting producer|
|1999–2001||The PJs||43 episodes; co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2001–2003||The Bernie Mac Show||104 episodes; creator, writer, director, executive producer|
|2003–2004||Whoopi||22 episodes; writer, executive producer|
|2005–2007||The Office||50 episodes; writer, consulting producer|
|2011||Love Bites||8 episodes; writer, consulting producer|
|2014–2015||Black-ish||24 episodes; Executive producer|
|2016–present||Insecure||Co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2018-present||Grown-ish||2 episodes; Executive producer|
|1992||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program||In Living Color||Nominated|
|1996||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award||Favorite TV Show||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Nominated|
|1996||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Nominated|
|1997||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Nominated|
|1999||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||The Jamie Foxx Show||Nominated|
|1999||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Animated Program||The PJs||Nominated|
|2001||Peabody Award||The Bernie Mac Show||Won|
|2001||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||The Jamie Foxx Show||Nominated|
|2002||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||The Bernie Mac Show||Nominated|
|2002||TCA Award||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||The Bernie Mac Show||Won|
|2002||Teen Choice Award||Choice Comedy Series||The Bernie Mac Show||Nominated|
|2002||Teen Choice Award||Choice TV Breakout Show||The Bernie Mac Show||Won|
|2002||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||The Bernie Mac Show||Won|
|2003||Writers Guild of America Award||Episodic Comedy||The Bernie Mac Show||Nominated|
|2003||Young Artist Award||Best Family Television Series (Comedy or Drama)||The Bernie Mac Show||Nominated|
|2003||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||The Bernie Mac Show||Won|
|2003||Humanitas Prize||30 Minute Network or Syndicated Television||The Bernie Mac Show||Won|
|2003||Teen Choice Award||Choice Comedy Series||The Bernie Mac Show||Nominated|
|2003||Satellite Award||Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy||The Bernie Mac Show||Won|
|2004||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||Whoopi||Nominated|
|2006||Writers Guild of America Award||Comedy Series||The Office||Nominated|
|2006||Writers Guild of America Award||New Series||The Office||Nominated|
|2008||Writers Guild of America Award||Comedy Series||The Office||Nominated|
|2016||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Talk Series||The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore||Nominated|
|2016||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Host in a News, Talk, Reality, or Variety (Series or Special)||The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore||Nominated|
|2017||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||Insecure||Nominated|
|2017||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series||Insecure||Nominated|
|2017||MTV Movie & TV Awards||Show of the Year||Insecure||Nominated|
Jon Stewart: Don't you feel that black history month serves a purpose? Larry Wilmore: Yes, the purpose of making up for centuries of oppression with 28 days of trivia. You know what? I'd rather we got casinos.
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