Wilmore turns WHCD into room of uncomfortable white people

Larry Wilmore got booed for his humorous observations (not to be confused with “observational humor) hit home with presidential policy and the news media. Wilmore didn’t leave Hollywood out of view for attack. Everything was fair game for Wilmore: Obama’s troubled legacy of Guantanamo Bay, our continued war with Afghanistan, and targeted drone strikes. Yet Wilmore soldiered on despite seeming nervous at first. Overcoming his social anxiety, in truest “blerd” fashion, he threw in a routine quip about the rape allegations surrounding Bill Cosby. The White House Correspondents Dinner audience booed Wilmore again. Some of the audience even hissed. I loved every minute of it because this was the turn for Wilmore’s monologue. And it was for me too, especially as a home streaming viewer.

I suspect perhaps that Wilmore is an experienced enough comic to have been tipped off to the fact that the dinner’s attendees (DC politicians and their cohorts from the mainstream news media) are a bunch of gross narcissists on some complete bullshit. Wilmore no doubt understands the booing response to a harmless joke about Bill Cosby elicited from his immediate audience of elite politicians and journalists would be the interpretive comedic inverse to whatever black video streamers outside the Beltway would be thinking: “Call the no-good bastards out, Larry!”

Wilmore seemed to use the Cosby joke for pathos to gauge his audience’s ethos and went for the logos of low-hanging comedic fruit: dick jokes. Wilmore’s comic genius is in knowing that his immediate audience is made up of a group of people less concerned about the optics of their annual banquet than they are about being in the room. I for one will miss watching him on The Nightly Show.

August 31, 2016. rhetorics.

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