The presidential election is on its way, and Marketplace is kicking off a series of conversations about it as a part of our coverage. These conversations will feature a range of different people from all points on the political spectrum. To kick things off, we sat down with Larry Wilmore, comedian, actor, showrunner, and host of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” on Comedy Central.
Considering that he is someone who specializes in making us laugh, you may be surprised at just how hard that can be.
How Wilmore sees his job:
We go a little further on our show, we try to take the underdog’s point of view, we always try to do, as I say, keep it authentic, keep it 100 percent real. What is the real story under here? What do we really want to find under here that is really the truth of something that we wanna talk about. Those are the underpinnings of what we do on our show as opposed to just making a random joke about something.
On writing material about the presidential election:
There’s always the laugh with the, “Oh no, what’s going on?” I think it’s always the combination, you have to learn to laugh at all these things, that’s our job, too. We have to find the jokes in all of it, no matter how scary or dark things may appear.
On creating comedy in times of tragedy:
It’s really tough. There was the shooting last year in Charleston, South Carolina, that was horrible.We just wanted to talk about how it was being covered, and made a show out of that. But it was very difficult, it was a tough day on everybody. Whenever those types of things happen, it’s not easy to do but it’s part of the challenge of our job because we, like the news shows, are reacting in real time as they happen. And we know that people at home have experienced those things themselves by reading the news, and watching the news and that kind of thing.
Click the audio player above to hear the full story.