Now Hear This Fest 2017 Presents Black On The Air

Nothing gets me out of bed early on a Saturday morning like seeing Larry Wilmore. The man is a media machine. If you miss him on TV in The Nightly Show, then you can get your Wilmore fix on his weekly podcast Black On The Air. Or if you loved his writing on The Daily Show, you’ll love his podcast. Or if you’re obsessed with Insecure on HBO, the show he’s producing with Issa Rae, then you’ll probably be obsessed with his podcast.

Basically, what I’m saying is, listen to this podcast! It’s comedy, it’s politics, it’s pop culture and entertainment. And it got me out of bed at 9 in the morning to risk weekend trains. 

The audience of Black On The Air was pretty sizable for a weekend morning. And Larry got us started off right with a vote on a nickname for the President. Larry calls him the Orange Julius Caesar, and he called on Twitter to help come up with more fruit/dictator combinations. Options included Pumpkin Putin, Nectarine Noriega, Kumquat Quaddafi, and Apricot Adolf. The winner was Tangerine Idi Amin.

Larry’s special guest was Robin Thede, a comedian who I had never heard of, but by the end, this woman might be my new hero. Robin was the head writer for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore for its two season run. And now she’s getting her own show on BET called The Rundown with Robin Thede. She was hilarious, smart, and a great storyteller.

Their interview was largely going over Thede’s life with some stories sprinkled throughout. Stories like how someone was murdered on Thede’s trailer park porch as a child. Or how when she and Mike Yard went to a slave plantation turned B&B, it was haunted AF.

What struck me was her confidence as a mixed race woman. She’s half-black, half-white, and when Larry asked her if had any issues with it, she gave a definitive, “No.”  My whole life is defined by a mixed race identity issue, because being half-Asian, half-white makes an ambiguous other. But Thede’s approach was simple and clean. She’s got a black mama and melanin. The world sees her as a black woman, and she agrees.

Larry and Robin then got into swapping stories. And I think more than I want to watch her new show on BET, I want to listen to a podcast of Robin telling stories. Y’all, her stories are the hilarious! Listen to the podcast for the bit when Robin talks about staying on a slave plantation turned wedding destination that was also haunted af.

The Q&A part is also a great listen. This audience (largely made up of white people who miss The Nightly Show). If you don’t believe me, listen to the podcast episode. Literally all except one person was a white person who stated at the top that they missed The Nightly Show. And if you listen really closely, you can hear me yell, “Whoooooo!” at the mention of HBO’s Insecure, on which Larry is an Executive Producer. Lastly, if you’re not, then what are you doing with your life?!

Larry ended the podcast going over Robin’s greatest tweets. I want that podcast as well: Robin Thede explains her tweets.

And with that, my morning was sufficiently made complete. Big thanks to Larry and Robin for doing everything they do.

Listen to Black On The Air at: Website | iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify