Larry Wilmore on Real Time With Bill Maher
Before I discuss Larry Wilmore’s appearance last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, I should warn you in case you’re watching at work. There’s quite a bit of profanity in the Overtime clip below. There will also be profanity in this post as I extract quotes. If you’re easily offended, you won’t hurt my feelings if you stop reading now. Perhaps I’ll see you in another post.
Let me begin by stating a firm belief. If at any time during a debate or discussion you resort to swearing at the other party, you lose. I don’t care how intelligent you are or how well you debate, you lose. If you can’t articulate your point in a clear, rational manner, you lose. If all you have left is a personal attack against your opponent, you lose. When Larry Wilmore told Milo Yiannopoulos “You can go fuck yourself”, he lost. He also won. Confused? Let’s deconstruct.
In the court of public opinion, the populace will only remember that Wilmore had no intellectual recourse but to attack Yiannopoulos. Don’t believe me? Read the comments section on YouTube or any clickbait site. What they miss, though, is the fact that Yiannopoulos insulted both Wilmore and Malcolm Nance first when he told Maher, “…you always invite such awful people on your show” and doubled down with “…you need to start inviting higher IQ guests.” Yiannopoulos admits he’s a troll and he proved it in that moment. Still, when Wilmore said “You can go fuck yourself”, he lowered himself to Yiannopoulos’ level. Then Wilmore doubled down with another “Go fuck yourself” while defending Leslie Jones. Welcome to Troll Town, Larry Wilmore.
So how did he also win? He stood up to Yiannopoulos’ digs and defended not only Jones and Nance, but also gays and transgender people. There were points where it seemed Wilmore was more in tune with those communities than Yiannopoulos. He also said something that I wish more talking panel guests would say. “Well, let me finish my thought, please.” That simple, respectful phrase shocked Maher and Yiannopoulos and elicited cheers from the audience. Of course, that only works when others honor the request, which Yiannopoulos did. See? He’s not a total monster.
I don’t watch Real Time or Overtime very often, because Maher can be obnoxious at times. Overall, though, I was very pleased with the show. It had plenty of laughs and insightful commentary. My biggest takeaway from the show is that I want an invite when Jack Kingston and the (R)’s take that group out for a beer. Your thoughts?