As talent drop like flies from The Reporters Who Cover Television’s Jon Stewart Replacement Wish List, Larry Wilmore really stepped up his game last night. HBO has nailed down John Oliver for two more years, TBS today announced Jason Jones is doing a sitcom for the network with his wife and fellow The Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee. They had sewn up the Longest Running Correspondent and Time For A Female categories, respectively, in some media minds, before today’s news. Stewart announced a couple weeks ago he will step down as host of the show, after 17 years, some time this year, which was such big news, even Fox News Channel pronounced it A Big Thing.
Wilmore’s already understudying Stewart as host of the lead-out program The Nightly Show, and last night’e episode was maybe his strongest to date. That includes his opening monologue, but particularly his wrangling of the panel discussion, which is one of Nightly’s least consistent features (behind only the loseable Keep It 100, which is to Nightly what Five Questions was to The Daily Show: Fun idea on track to get old quick.