Larry Wilmore and The Nightly Show said goodbye on Thursday night following Comedy Central's announcement earlier this week that the show would be canceled. They did so with a little help from Jon Stewart, who praised Wilmore for his work on The Nightly Show and offered him
free booze excellent advice in light of the cancellation.
Stewart started his appearance by casually walking onto the Nightly Show behind Wilmore and stealing a champagne bottle and coffee mug before Wilmore noticed. Stewart then asked what he's missed and what Wilmore had planned for next week before Wilmore quickly filled him in and told him that it was the last Nightly Show episode ever.
Stewart, who worked with Wilmore previously on The Daily Show, got serious after that and told Wilmore he's been in his place before and relayed the advice given to him: "Do not confuse cancellation with failure."
"What you, my friend, were tasked to do, you have done and done beautifully," Stewart said. "You gave voice to underserved voices in the media arena and you did it―it was a show that was raw and poignant and funny and smart and all those things." He added, "You took something and got better every f*cking day."
Stewart also addressed The Nightly Show's resonance with audiences, given its low ratings, arguing that it did resonate even though Wilmore and others might not see it right now. Stewart said proof of that will be evident in the years to come. "You started a conversation that wasn't on television when you began," he said, before adding that the conversation will continue despite the show's end.
In a statement to Complex, Comedy Central said, "We thank Larry and The Nightly Show staff for their tireless efforts across the past two years and the conversations the show generated by addressing social issues of great importance to the country, always challenging people’s attitudes, perceptions and bias."
The Nightly Show first aired in January 2015, taking over The Colbert Report time slot. You can watch the entire final episode here.