Larry Wilmore expressed his solidarity with Brian Williams on The Nightly Show Monday night, addressing the embattled NBC Nightly News anchor “as a fellow purveyor of fake news” before trying to explain why it’s understandable he got his stories crossed. “Once I reported I cold cocked George Foreman in his grill,” Wilmore joked. “Turns out, I just put cold cuts on a George Foreman Grill.”
To Williams’ credit, Wilmore explained, the newsman’s confusion over events that did or didn’t take place while he was reporting in Iraq are a perfect metaphor for the entire war on terror. From doubts over WMDs to the troops still deployed in the Middle East, America’s relationship with this war has never been clear cut. Our new nemesis ISIS isn’t making things much easier, Wilmore cracked: “Even Al-Qaeda said, ‘Hey hey hey, slow your terror roll. I mean, we’re dicks, but you guys are just plain unreasonable.’ That’s an exact quote from Al-Qaeda.”
Wilmore is just a handful of episodes into his tenure as host of The Nightly Show, which replaced The Colbert Report after Stephen Colbert stepped down to prep for his new gig as host of CBS’ The Late Show. Each episode of The Nightly Show features a rundown of the day’s news, à la The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, followed by a field piece or interview and subsequent panel discussion.
In an interview with Rolling Stone prior to the show’s debut, Wilmore explained how Stewart pitched him the show: “His basic idea was there were lots of underrepresented voices out there that deserve to be heard. He envisioned it as a Daily Show/panel show, with me hosting it. I was surprised he had me in the middle of the bull’s-eye. My jaw just kinda dropped. I went, ‘OK… sure. That sounds great.'”