May 26, 2016 - LeVar Burton

  • 05/26/2016

Donald Trump officially clinches the GOP presidential nomination, and Larry examines the legacy of "Roots" with LeVar Burton, Jordan Carlos and Holly Walker.


-(cheering continues)-Yes...!

Oh, man!

Welcome to The Nightly Show!

Great crowd!All right, thank you very much!

Thanks, guys.I appreciate it.

-(audience chanting "Larry!")-I am Larry Wilmore...

and, uh, man, it is Fleet Week.

Special thanksto all the ladies and gentlemen

in our armed forces, you guys.

Thank you so muchfor your service this week.

How about a nice roundof applause for everybody?

-(cheering)-Fleet Week!

And... also,television icon LeVar Burton

joins us on panel tonight.

-(cheering, applause)-I'm very excited about that.

That's off the roof!

All right, guys,you know what time it is--

time to check inwith America's efforts

to de-Negrofy...


...the White House.That's right.

Let's see what's happeningwith the Unblackening.

♪ Favorite song,uh, uh, uh, uh... ♪


Big news today, though.

Donald Trump has now clinched

the Republican nominationfor president.

1,237 delegates

are needed, and Mr. Trump now has 1,238.

Coincidentally,12:38 is the time

I'm going to hang myselfafter the show.

-(laughter)-That's right.

I'm not gonna miss @midnight. No, no.


So, here's the deal.

Okay, so, so last summerI made this stupid bet.

I said that if Trump becamethe Republican nominee--

which was a ridiculous idea--

I would drink a bottleof Trump Vodka on the air.


(laughter, shouting, whooping)

(cheering, applause)

That day has come.

I am a man of my word.

Okay. Don't feel sad for me--this is my own fault, you know?

I brought this upon myself,you guys, you know?

I feel like I needto punch myself for this here.

Kind of like that albinoin The Da Vinci Code,

you know, right, like just,like, self...

self-flagellation.And since I'll never be able

to get througha Trump presidency sober,

I guess I may as wellstart now, right?

-(audience whooping)-Well...

-(cheering, applause)-And-- I'm gonna say--

and for those of you joi...joining us at home,

every time I do a shot,you do a shot, all right?


(cheering, applause)


Tastes like, um...

tastes like the deathof the American Empire.


Mmm, let's try a little more.

(humming a tune)

-Ah...-(whooping, applause)


Tastes like, uh,Chris Christie's used bathwater.

-(laughter, groaning)-Ugh. Ew. Ew.

All right, one more,one more, one...

-MAN: Yeah!-(grunting)

(cheering, applause)


Let me tell you something.

That Ivanka'slooking pretty good.


If she weren't my daughterand I weren't her father,

I would be totally into that.

Oh, my God! What am I saying?What is this stuff?

Whew! Okay, so anyway,Trump is the nominee,

and, of course,he held a press conference,

and he can't notsay something insane.

In California, wind iskilling all of the eagles.


Wind is killingall of the eagles?

Is that what happenedto Glenn Frey?

-(laughter, groaning)-Mmm.

It's a young audience.It's all right.

He was part of the Eagles.But you're right,

soon-to-be-impeachedPresident Trump,

wind... has always beenthe enemy of the eagle.

Mm. All right, Trump,you're the nominee now,

so you're above name-callingat least, right?

Let's say, for example,if someone asked you a question

about Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Who, Pocahontas?

(audience groaning)

Pocahontas?! Like,first you called her Goofy,

and now Pocahontas?

So you're gonna baseall your presidential policy

-on Disney characters?-(laughter)

Although, I did appreciatewhen he called Rubio and Cruz

Lilo and Stitch--that was pretty good.

-(laughter)-That was pretty good.

All right, any...How about this?

Any words of wisdomfor America now?

There's one more thingwe must do

to make America wealthy again.

And you have to be wealthyin order to be great,

I'm sorry to say it.

-(groaning, laughter)-That's right.

I'm looking at you, Jesus.


Why'd you have to die so pooron that cross?


You ain't great.

All right, man, well, here'sthe deal, here's the deal.

Hillary's got her workcut out for her.

Look, she's not perfect,but she may be our last chance

to avoid Trump-ageddon.

So come on, Hillary,are you ready to go?

You got your T's dotted,you got your I's crossed--

what kind of shapeis your campaign in?

Come on, girl, what you got?

NEWSMAN: The State Department's independent watchdog yesterday

issued a scathing report.

It finds Clinton's e-mail practices

violated federal standards.

(like Scooby-Doo):Ruh-roh.


Why are we still talkingabout these e-mails?

I mean, it can't still bea thing, right?

I mean, I wonder if peopleare picking on Hillary.

I mean, here you go.The inspector general can't say

this was a clear violationof the rules that were in place

when Secretary Clintonwas in office.

The inspector general saysthat this was a clear violation

of the rules that were in place

when Secretary Clintonwas in office.



(laughter, shouts, applause)



All right!

But there's got to be evidencethat she requested

or obtained guidance,or at least approval,

to conduct official businessvia her personal e-mail account

on her private server, huh?

And it says there is no evidencethat the secretary requested

or obtained guidance or approval

to conduct official businessvia a personal e-mail account

on her private server.



(shouting, whooping)

(cheering, applause)


But I'm sure they found somebody who approved of this.

They could find nobodywho approved of this.




Okay, this has really got to bebad news for the campaign.

They must be in panic moderight now.

I mean,really sweating this out.

Okay, here to explainhow Hillary Clinton

is handling this, please welcomeClinton campaign aide

Carlos Jordanson, everybody.

(cheering, applause)

All right, so, Carlos, so,what's going on over there?

It must... it must benerve-wracking for you guys

-right now with all theseallegations. -(chuckles)

Larry, it's fine.

No problem.

-Really, you're not nervous?-No.

Because the inspec...

Well, because the inspectorgeneral's report

was pretty brutal on you.

Typical Republican attacks,that's all. Nothing new.


I cannot believeyou're not concerned.

Wait, why are yousweating so much?

Well, it's, uh, summer heat,that's all. You know?

It's, uh, it's not this report.(chuckles)

Is that why youthink I'm sweating?

This isn't about meor my career.

It's-it's about the sunand the tilt

of the earth's axis. That's whatwe should be talking about.

That's the real story here.

No, the real story'sthe report.

Look, look, the inspectorgeneral has clearly said

that Clinton violatedstate department rules.

This could upendyour whole candidacy.

I can't believeyou're not in panic mode.

Panic, ha.

You just said ityourself, Larry-- rules.

Not laws, rules.More like policies.

Suggestions, really.Life hacks, if you will.

You know?Like when they tell you

to tie a piece of bright-coloredfabric on your suitcase handle

so it's easier to pick upat the luggage carousel.


Actually, no.

The report saysHillary did not comply

with theFederal Records Act.

I mean, that is a law.

Not a major one.

Just a... just a tiny one.

Teensy-tiny. Boy,it is really hot in here.

-It's really hot.-Yes, I...

I think you're showing how muchpressure you're under right now.

Oh, no, no, no. I come froma family of sweaters.

We have huge adrenal glands.

I don't believe you.

Larry, we're coolas cucumbers over here, okay?

All I know is thatSecretary Clinton is as happy

to get to the bottomof all this as anyone else.

That-that's why she cooperatedfully with the investigation.

Okay, well,explain this to me, fine.

How could Clintondo what she did

without any official approval?

How could that have happened?


Oh, my God.

-Oh, my God.-Okay.


Oh, Larry.

-You're drenched.-Larry...

-The only...-Yes?

The only...

-I li... I couldn't read,right there. -Yes.

The only thing officialis that my left arm

-has gone numb, okay?-What?

I think I'm havinga goddamn heart attack.

Will someoneopen a (bleep) window?!

All right, okay. I think you'veanswered all my questions.

Carlos Jordanson, everybody.Oh, my God, open a window!

-We'll be right back.-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Okay, welcome back.

So, Angry Birds is the number one movie

in America right now.

But-- and this iscompletely true--

some people have, like,these weird conspiracy theories

about the movie, saying it's ananti-immigration screed,

that it supports Europe'scurrent anti-Muslim climate,

and even that Red,the main bird, is Donald Trump.

To be fair, to be fair,

they're almostthe exact same color, so...

Kind of makes sense.But really?

Are those fun, cute, birdsmore dangerous than they seem?

Okay, to help sort this out,let's check in

with our conspiracy expertMike Yard

in the latest installmentof The Y Files.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Okay, so, uh, so, Mike,

does-does the Angry Birds moviereally have an agenda?

Tear the scalesfrom your eyes, Larry.

The answer's so obvious,even a fourth grader can see it.

Mike, just tell meif you think the movie's

about Islamophobia in Europeor immigration or Trump.

Ha! That's what theywant you to think, Larry.

But, no.

No, Angry Birds is about black people.

Read it and weep, my brother.

Wait, no, Mike.

Mike, this is nuts.

What could Angry Birds possiblyhave to do with black people?

Well, let's start withthe main character, Red.

Come on.All of the happy birds

always telling himhe's so angry?

-All right, calm down, Mike.Uh... -Sound familiar?

I mean, you seema little angry, here.

See... you seewhat you just did, Larry?

-What did I...-You just proved my point. Huh?

And then they make Redgo to anger management class,

where he meets a black bird

with a fuse stickingout of his head?

Really, why? 'Cause he's justgonna go off at any second?

Come on.

Uh, Mike, that's ridiculous.It's just a dumb movie.

It's a craven attemptto cash in on the popularity

of a silly game,not some allegory

about black people's anger.That...

Why is Red so mad,you ask, Larry? Huh?

Uh... I don't recallasking that.

Because of all of the pigswho show up from out of nowhere.

Pigs, Larry.

How is that notabout the police?

No, no, no.

-Mike... -You justgot to open your eyes, baby.

Be... well, because maybethey're just cute little pigs?

-Oh, come on,Captain Unaware-ica. -What?


Then, when Reddoesn't trust the pigs,

he and his friends seek advicefrom a giant, lazy eagle?

-Huh? And look at what the eagledoes, Larry, look. -Okay.

-♪ -Oh, wow.

-(music stops)-Ah...

(liquid dropping)


Um, he takes a piss in a lake?

What does that have to dowith black people, Mike?

You know what, Larry,I hope you got your passport,

'cause you're about to leavethe matrix. Listen to me.

The eagle--the U.S. government--

takes a piss.Piss, urine,

"You're in trouble",

punishing black childrenharder than others,

-What?-School-to-prison pipeline.

Pipes carry waterfrom Lake Michigan.

Michigan, Flint, hello?


Just blew your mind.Blew it.

You seeing it?

Good lord, Mike,you're out of your mind.

I... Look, I still don't think

this has anything to dowith black stuff, I'm sorry.

Well, Larry, you know what,you're half right,

-but you're all wrong, okay?-Ho... That doesn't make sense.

Now, let me break... let mejust break it down for you,

okay, my brother? 'Cause if youlisten, you're gonna get it.

-All right, go ahead.-All the black stuff

is just a smokescreen to hidethe real truth, my brother.

-Which is, which is?-The truth that...

Beyoncé is really Solange's mom.


-Yes, Larry. -That's what Angry Birds proves? That...

Yes, Larry, Beyoncé'sreally 36-- she's not 34--

and Solange isn't 29,she's 22.

But I can't explainall this (bleep) to you.

-You're gonna have toGoogle it, man. -Google it?

-That's your explanan...I don't have... -Yes.

Mike Yardand The Y Files, everyone.

We'll be right back.Google it?

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

How am I...I don't have time to Google it.

-Oh...-Open your eyes.

All right! Welcome back!I'm here with my panel.

First up, Nightly Show Contributor Jordan Carlos.

(cheering and applause)

And Nightly Show ContributorHolly Walker.

(cheering and applause)

And he's the co-executiveproducer of Roots,

a miniseries remakeof the classic show,

airing on Monday, May 30,at 9:00 p.m.

on the History Channeland all across cable,

welcome LeVar Burton.

(cheering and applause)

And for everyone at home,join our conversation right now

on Twitter, @NightlyShow,using the hashtag, #Tonightly.

Uh, so, LeVar,you're a co-executive producer

-on this new version of Roots. -Mm-hmm.

And the original had such a hugeimpact on America, ratings-wise.

It was outstanding.It had such a cultural impact.

People... I feltpeople really got a feel

for that black experiencefor the first time ever.

-That-that was the truth.-Yeah.

Do you think a showlike that can have the same kind

-of cultural impact today?-Well, I know

-that there is no way that wecan hope to approximate -Mm-hmm.

the record-shattering numbersof viewers.

Right. 'Cause television'sjust different. Right.

We just watch TV in a... in avery different way these days.

But I am hopingthat we can be a part

of the continuing conversationabout race in America.

And-and where are those vestiges

-that still exist, thosevestiges of slavery? -Mm-hmm.

-Right. -Where does racismstill lurk in our society today?

And-and hopefully we can usethis opportunity

to take a good, hard lookat ourselves

-and perhaps make some change.-Yeah. 'Cause I...

-(cheering and applause)-Yeah. No, it'd be great.


'Cause I wonder,'cause we've had a lot of movies

in the... in the meantime,

-everything from Amistad, 12 Years a Slave recently. -Yeah.

D-Does it have an effect on you,uh, Jordan?

I mean, absolutely, especiallyaround, like, Oscar time,

things like that.I mean, and you learn

about where you came from.And I'll definitely...

be-be watching. Um, I didn't getto watch the first time around.

I wasn't... I wasn't born.But, uh,

-I feel like...-And you never had a VCR?

No, I-I was,, I-I was raised by wolves.

And, uh... I'm sorry.I didn't see it.

Uh, well, Roots was in my house.

It was, like, with the bigbooks, and I used to, uh,

make ramps out of it.This is not going well.

-Jordan, you don't haveto apologize. -This is...

But I'm gonna watch it.I'm gonna watch it now.

-Now I'm gonna watch it.Everybody gonna watch it? -Yes.

-(cheering and applause)-This is... this is...

this is what it's about, right?This is what it's about.

-Yeah. (bleep)! -I actually wasalive then, and I did watch it.

-And it's going to impact me...-Well, good for you.

-Uh, yeah, it was. It wasvery good for me. -Stop it.

-And I think it's gonna impactme the same way then -Uh-huh.

-as it will now. Like,I was so mesmerized -Wow. -Wow.

that one humancould treat another human

-in a different way.-Mm-hmm.

-Like, I wasn't old enoughto quite get it. -Right. Mm-hmm.

And I was like... I remembersitting down with my parents

-to watch this, my family.-Right. Sure.

And I was like, "But why-whywould they do that to us?

Like, what-what did we doto them? Like, why..."

It was fascinating,because Roots was also...

what was powerful about itand your role in particular

was the name, you know?Kunta Kinte.

-Right. Right. -Say Toby.And that issue of identity,

I think, is as strong today,

-you know, in our society.-It is. -Yes.

Why do you thinkthat's resonating so much now?

Hmm. I mean, maybe-maybe thingslike Roots--

-which I'm gonna see-- uh...-Mm-hmm.

-open the doors of...-You saw Jaws, Jordan.

-You have no...-I saw... Well, Jaws is great.

-And, uh...-And Roots wasn't?

-What is he... what is he doing?-No, I'm saying

they're both good.Listen, Roots is gr...

-Listen, I... God, can I go now?-Okay, we won't go back there.

-We won't go back there.-(laughs) No, no, no.

-I-I just feel like it's openedthe door -Identity.

-to-to discussionabout identity. -Yes. Mm-hmm.

Especially, like,you know, Afrocentrism

and finding out who you areand knowing, like...

I remember back in the day,like, people would be like,

"What's your name? Jordan?That's your slave name."

And I'd be like, "Really?"You know? And I'd want to know,

-like, what my real name was andwhere I really came from. -Sure.

And now you can do those kindof things, you know,


-That sounds like a commercialnow. Or whatever it is. -Mm-hmm.

-Anthol... Mm-hmm.

-Just be my little paper clipin, like, -Right. -You got it.

-Microsoft Word for me, please.-You got it. -Right.

-Just guide me along. All right.-I will do that every time.

Guide me along. Be my footnote.But I'm just saying

that the doors are openingto this conversation.

-Do you feel it?-WILMORE: Yeah.

I mean, did you feel likeafter Roots was made, like,

people wanted to discuss andwanted to dialogue more about?

-Oh, absolutely.-CARLOS: Yeah.

And Roots was responsiblefor a huge boon

-in the field of genealogy.-WILMORE: Yes.

-And everyone wanted to researchtheir roots. -WILMORE: Right.

And now, like you say,with the Human Genome Project,

-we can spit in a cupand send it away... -Yeah.

and get back whereour DNA shows up on the planet,

and that is a miraclefor black people.

-WILMORE & CARLOS: Yeah.-It really is.

-CARLOS: Have you done thatbefore? -I have. I have indeed.

And 75%--

a good 70% of my genetic codecomes from Sub-Saharan Africa.

-I was not surprised about that.-WILMORE: Mm-hmm.

I was surprised, though,to find out

that almost 25%of my DNA comes...

my ancestry is Irishand English.

-CARLOS: What?!-WILMORE: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

In fact, I...Mark Wahlberg and I...

People are alwayssurprised by that.

I say, "Look, the cream waspoured in the coffee,

-not the other way around."-Exactly right.

-(laughter) -Exactly right.-Pride, you know.

-(applause and cheering)-Exactly right.

That's it. That's right.

Why are you so shocked?You know.

-Yeah. Yeah.-Right.

Um, it's funny, becausethe other powerful thing--

-it was a family story.Alex Haley was... -Mm-hmm.

You know, he was discoveringhis roots,

but it became this storyfor all of America. Can...?

Do you thinkAmerica can have a catharsis

through a story like Roots?

-I believe we did once, andI believe we can again. -Yeah.

-Mm-hmm. -And I thinkthat the first time...

WILMORE: Because ofthe family aspect, do you think?

-Because of the family aspect.-WILMORE: Mm-hmm.

The first time, it was really

-like pulling the scab offof a wound. -WILMORE: Yes.

And everybodywas very, very raw.

-That was very powerful. Right.-It was very powerful.

40 years on now, I believe thatwe can have that conversation,

and I'm hoping that we canhave that conversation

-absent a lot of the anger...-WILMORE: Mm-hmm.

...a lot of the fear,and most especially,

-absent the guilt and the shame.-WILMORE: Uh-huh. -WALKER: Yeah.

And that we can havea catharsis as...

-WILMORE: Mm-hmm. -...people onboth sides of the color line.


And you can have one, too,if you watch it.

-If you watch it. -(laughter)-If you watch it.

-But only if you watch it.-You can have one

-if you watch it.-I'll watch it. Can I say...?

WILMORE: Did you ever watch Star Trek: The Next Generation?

-MAN: Yeah! Yes!-(laughter)

-(cheers and applause)-All right, well...

Did I ever watch Star Trek: The Next Generation.

-WILMORE: You do not. You donot. -(applause and cheering)

-You do not.-Oh! Oh, man!

-We doing this? Are we doingthis?! -No. No, man.

-Are we doing this?!-WILMORE: You do not get a pass!

You do not get a pass.

-No, no, no, yes, he does.-WALKER: He does. He does.

WILMORE: Okay, all right. Allright, there it is for the man.

WALKER: Yes, he does.He gets a pass in my book, too.


Well, look, I hope everybody canwatch this again.

It's oneof the most important shows

I think ever,and it's about family.

It's an honorto have Mr. LeVar Burton here.

-We'll be right back.-(cheers and applause)

YARD: If you live in New York City

or are planning to visit, grab tickets to:

I want to thankmy panelists-- Jordan Carlos,

Holly Walker and LeVar Burton.

We're almost out of time,but before we go,

-I'm gonna keep it 100 for yourguys. All right. -(man whoops)

Tonight's question...Thank you very much.

Oh, this is cool. This isfrom my good friend Lewis Black.

All right, let's take a look.

(bleep), Marry, Kill-- The Daily Show edition.

John Oliver, Jon Stewart or me.

-Keep it 100, Larry, orI'll kick your ass. -(laughter)

-Oh, my God! (bleep).-Keep it 100.

-Come on, man.-Keep it 100, Larry.

Okay, all right,I'm killing Jon Stewart.

-(laughter and groaning)-(bleep), man.

He abandoned us.I don't know what to tell you.

I'm (bleep) Lewis Black.

-All that passion, man,you know. -(laughter)

And I'm marrying John Oliver.

-He's got a J-O-B, you guys.-(laughter)

-(applause and cheering)-That's pretty good, right?

Come on.Thanks for watching.

-Good Nightly, everyone.-(applause and cheering)

He left. You're doing down, Jon!

I'm killing you, Jon.

MAN: Ooh, sorry.