Larry Wilmore welcomed Texas whiz kid Ahmed Mohamed to The Nightly Show Wednesday to discuss the infamous, homemade digital clock he brought to his high school and subsequent wrongful arrest when it was mistaken for a bomb.
Clad in the same NASA shirt he wore while being escorted out of his school in handcuffs, Mohamed answered Wilmore’s bemused questions about his invention with truncated, adolescent confidence. “How long did it take you to build that bomb?” Wilmore cracked. “It looked like a pretty complicated explosive device.”
“Um, 10 or 20 minutes,” Mohamed replied.
Wilmore then asked why he wanted to build a clock: “It was something really simple to me.” Did he have to look up instructions? “No, the only thing I had to look up was the receipt for the box.” Mohamed added later: “It’s really simple to me, because I’ve built more stuff that’s very complicated, like CPUs and soldering them. But the clock was simple, and some of the parts were scrapped off, so that’s how it got easier.”
Wilmore, of course, asked about Mohamed’s arrest as well, but instead of delving into social injustice or Islamophobia in America, the host chided Mohamed with, “Be honest; keep it one hundred. Was it a little cool to be arrested?” After mulling it over, Mohamed offered the perfect reply: “It was kind of cool,” he laughed. “The only reason I felt cool about it was because I knew was innocent.”
Mohammed also joked that the scariest part of the experience was when the cops put his arm behind his back and “almost made me do the nae nae backwards.” He also revealed his next invention: a hoverboard that can move side-to-side versus forward and backwards. Wilmore capped off the short appearance by gifting Mohammed two watches: The first a mess of wires, blinking lights and a soldering iron; the second, a new Apple watch.