Larry Wilmore on defying stereotypes, building sprawling career

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“As a comedian, you're thinking of ways you're gonna sometimes [say] things [that] are shocking,” says Larry Wilmore. “I don't need agreement to do the thing that I want to do. I'm not really seeking agreement.” Photo by Peter Yang/Comedy Central.

Actor, comedian, writer, and producer Larry Wilmore has been in show biz for four decades. He has written for dozens of iconic TV shows, including “In Living Color,” “The Office,” and “Black-ish.” But early in his career, he says a Black comedian who didn’t fit a stereotype didn’t have a job. 

“When I was doing standup, what Hollywood was interested in was more what the Def Comedy Jam type of comic was for Black comedians,” he says. “You had to be from the ghetto. You can't be too smart because you have to be streetwise, so who wants a smart political comic?”

Wilmore explains that’s one reason his career evolved to writing and producing was to create space for himself. He discusses the many contributions he has made to dozens of TV shows, including his newest project and his first drama series, “Reasonable Doubt.” He also addresses the controversial closing remark from when he hosted the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.   

But first, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni look into Disney’s Q4 earnings call. The company adds subscribers to Disney+, but reports meager earnings and misses estimates.



Kim Masters


Joshua Farnham