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Josh Robert Thompson
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This show has potential and Larry Wilmore is OK. I loved his segments on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart but for some reason it is not coming through in his own show. Maybe he is only great in small doses but I have been watching The Nightly Show since it started but it needs to start getting better fast or it could get pulled from the network because looking at these message boards there obviously isn't a lot of love for it.
Tonight's show is a good example (airing January 26 2015 since I have no idea when you will read this), with the topic being American snipers since the huge movie at the time is "American Sniper". The stuff off the top with Larry Wilmore was decent and the highlight of the show. He will get better as time goes on I assume. After that there was a character piece with Shenaz Treasure which was just painfully awful. It was five minutes of one joke (we get it, Bradley Cooper is hot) that she just wasn't delivering right. Not funny at all. I'm not looking forward to any more of her bits. Epic fail.
The panel discussion was OK and again I think they will feel it out over time. Larry wasn't pitch perfect tonight but he's obviously got a talent for heading up this type of panel and other episodes have been better. Part of the problem was tonight's panel, which didn't give him much funny to work with.
The three more serious guests were OK (they were a veterans group representative, a sniper, and the other guy I think was an Iraq War/middle east expert who was very "anti-Bush" in his opinions). None of them were particularly funny but they're obviously not there for that, they have different viewpoints on the week's serious topic and did a fine job presenting that.
Where the panel works or fails is with the fourth panelist who is always a comedian of some sort and they are supposed to bring the funny to the table and give Larry help with that part of the show. Too often (at least so far) this guest hasn't been up to snuff and the show has suffered because of it. Case in point tonight's guest, a Canadian lesbian (not that that matters) named Sabrina Jalees was in that seat and brought almost nothing to the table. I hate to have to say it but the two females on the show tonight were just bloody awful and by far the worst parts of the show, hopefully producers will not let them stop them from booking other females in the future who can actually deliver on the funny. Jaleese barely talked at all and when she did her jokes were awkward and completely unfunny, on top of that they had little to do with the panel's discussion or show's topic. Even her answer to the Keep it 100 question was forced, took way too long and was completely unfunny. The sniper and veterans representative were both honestly funnier in their comments than the comedian tonight, and also the Iraq expert came off a bit too hostile (particularly towards the veterans rep) and seemed sort of jerky for lack of a better word.
Keep it 100 is very hit or miss just like the panel, for the same reasons, but tonight's panel (aside from Jalees) did quite well with it. Wasn't thrilled with Wilmore's answer tonight as it seemed a bit of a pander (saying he'd serve his country any time) but he really didn't have anywhere else to go with it. I get that he doesn't see the question beforehand and sometimes this makes his answer even funnier but they might want to let him pick the questions or at least see them beforehand to come up with great answers regularly.
All in all I will keep watching this show, am still a big fan of Wilmore, and will cross my fingers that they sort this show out soon because I see huge potential and don't want to see it canceled. With such a big part of the show being the panel I hope they'll start booking funnier comedians more regularly. Bill Burr would be great as a semi regular guest!
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