January 28, 2016 - Militant Cops & Michael Jackson Portrayal

  • 01/28/2016

President Obama eyes America's overly armed police, and Larry discusses Joseph Fiennes's film role as Michael Jackson with Chris Distefano, Grace Parra and Robin Thede.

I know. Yeah.

-Thank you very much. Welcome.-(audience chanting "Larry!")

Thank you very much.Thank you. You're too kind.

What a great crowd, man.Thank you so much.

On a Thursday night. I know.

On a Trump-less debate night.

Wow, it's exciting, huh? Yeah.

Welcome to The Nightly Show.

I'm Larry Wilmore. Um...

Now, guys, as you know,President Obama

only has about 11 months leftin office.

So, you know, let's check inon the latest development

in Obama-don't-care. Okay.

Tonight's target,law enforcement.

REPORTER: The Obama administration is asking

local law enforcement agencies nationwide

to return federal military equipment by April 1,

after concerns it was being misused.

Okay. Well, what kind ofequipment are we talking about,

Nautilus machines, snowblowers,

Thighmasters? What are we...

Grenade launchers;high-caliber weapons; bayonets;

tank-like armored vehicleswith tracks, not wheels;

certain typesof camouflaged uniforms;

and weaponized aircraft.

Mine-resistant trucks.

REPORTER: Loud sirens that can cause pain, loss of balance,

eardrum rupture, and permanent hearing damage.


Jesus, that's the kind ofequipment our local cops have?

What is this, Call of Duty: the 'Burbs?


All right, so starting April 1,

Obama's scooping up tanksand grenade launchers?


March might go out like a lamb,

but April's coming inlike a (bleep).

Oh. Oh, man.

This is gonna piss off a lotof local law enforcement,

but, like I said,Obama don't care.

Obama don't care.

Now, the problem is, if copshave these kinds of toys,

they're gonna find an excuseto use them.

JON FASMAN (reading):

Barbing without licenses?

"Sergeant, I got a guy in heretrying to give somebody a wave

"without a license!

"I'm gonna need some backup!

"Yes, the grenade launcher!

Quickly, he's getting outthe activator!"



And the fearwith this extreme weaponry

isn't just that they findexcuses to use it--

they also find ways to lose it.

REPORTER: Orange County sheriff's deputy

loses AR-15 rifle. The rifle was lost

on Tuesday after it was placed on the lid

of the patrol car's trunk.

A search for the rifle continues.

You lost an AR-15

like the way most people forgettheir groceries?

I guess this explainsOrange County's tourist slogan,

"Come for the sunshine,stay because you were murdered

by some psycho who founda cop's assault rifle"!

All right, I'm surethere are some who say, "Look.

"Hey, Larry. Chill.Come on, chill, dude.

They just lost an AR-15.Could happen to anybody."

Fine. Exhibit B.

A police department in Arkansaslost a Humvee.

Guys, how the hell do you losea 5,000-pound street tank?

Please don't tell me you left iton the back of your squad car

and drove away.

This is insane.

And now it's not justthe local police

who are arming themselvesexcessively.

It's also moviegoers.

REPORTER: A woman shot inside a movie theater in Renton.

Police say a man went into the showing of 13 Hours

and sat down to watch the movie.

Witnesses described the man as being intoxicated

and fumbling with the gun when it went off.

So a drunk guy dropped his gunduring 13 Hours

and shot a woman? Jesus Christ.

She already paid $11 to seeMichael Bay's Benghazi movie.

Hasn't she suffered enough?!

I know. "Boy, Larry,you hate Michael Bay."

And why didthis drunk-ass butterfingers

have a gun anyway?

REPORTER: Police reports say Gallion brought his gun

into the theater because he was worried

about recent mass shootings in public places.

Wait, wait, wait,wait, wait, wait, wait.

Wait, wait, wait.

The guy was worriedabout shootings in theaters,

which led him to causea shooting in the theater?

That's like something outof a Greek tragedy, you guys.

Dumbasstophanes or something like that.

I don't... I thinkit's by Homer. I'm not sure.

It doesn't make sense.


Oh, America,you never let me down.

You never do.

Okay, now, we were talking aboutthis today around the office.

And obviously there's a lotto unpack here.

So for more, please welcome Nightly Show contributor

-Mike Yard.-(cheering and applause)

-Thanks, Mike.-Thanks for having me, Larry.

I know, uh...

I know you had some thoughtson this, right?

-Larry, I'm stressing out, man.-Yeah, I know.

I mean, this wasobviously just an accident.

And the woman's gonna be fine,so that's good.

(bleep), man. No, this is whathappens after mass shootings,

Larry. People go gun crazy, man.

I got to stay safe, bro.

Um, how are you gonna do that?

(scoffs)I got a gun, man.


I got to protect myself fromgun violence caused by people

protecting themselvesfrom gun violence, Larry.

Wait. No, no, no, Mike.

I-I don't thinkyou're taking the correct lesson

from this story.

You know what,you're right, Larry.

You're absolutely right.I need a second gun.


-That's-that's why you're theboss, Larry. -No, no, no, no.

-No, no, no, no. -Hey, Larry.Are you guys talking about guns?

-Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa!-Whoa, whoa! Hey, hey!

-(mimicking gunfire)-No, no, no! -Oh, (bleep).

-Whoa, whoa, whoa! Easy, easy,everybody! -I'm just kidding!

I'm playing! I'm playing, guys.I'm just playing.

We have a lot of fun here.

Grace, why do you havean assault rifle?

Uh, in caseMike starts shooting people.

If you're not protectingyourself from gun violence

caused by people protectingthemselves from gun violence

caused by people protectingthemselves from gun violence,

you probably deserveto get shot.


Guys, you're beingreally obtuse about this,

almost comically so.The solution isn't more guns.

-Hey! Hey! -Oh, whoa!What the (bleep)? -Oh!

-Wait, wait. Hold on, hold on.-All right, all right.

-Okay, calm down. Calm down!Calm down, you guys! -Uh-uh.

-Calm down. -What, you guy...you guys having a gun chat?

-Can I join? -Great, Holly.What, I suppose you got,

what, like, a rocket launcherto protect yourself from Grace,

-is that what you got on you?-(chuckles) No, Larry.

That would be absurd.

Thank you.

-I'm strapped with a bomb.-Holy (bleep)! -Whoa! No!

I-I can't leave myselfvulnerable

'cause literally everyone elsehas a gun.

My God, guys,when you add more deadly weapons

to a situation like this,it doesn't make anyone safer.

It just opens us upto horrifying accidents

-like the one in Washington.Why don't you... -Okay.

Come on, Larry. You know what,you're just being paranoid

-right now. Something would haveto really go wrong -Yeah.

-in order for us to ever get inthe situation... -Yeah. Whoa!


All right, welcome back.

So, there's new controversybrewing today

in lily-white Hollywood.

WOMAN: Joseph Fiennes has been confirmed

to play Michael Jackson in an upcoming British TV movie.

Yeah, good job, Hollywood.


Yeah, you got that slapin the face in

right beforeBlack History Month, didn't you?

-(audience groaning)-Yeah. Oh.

-I didn't make it up, guys.-(laughter)

Well, don't you agree,black people on the Today Show?

I mean that the white guyis playing Michael Jackson...

AL ROKER: It's for a BBCtelevision series.

TAMRON HALL:...the black guy.

Have we run outof black American actors...

Well, you're...

...to play Michael Jackson?

HALL:The premise of the film...

We haven't even run out

of Jackson family membersto play Michael Jackson.


Trust me, Jermaine is available.

(laughter and groaning)

All right, to help us wrap ourheads around this decision--

and this is a big get for us--

we actually have the castingdirector for this movie

live via satellitefrom his Hollywood office.

-Please welcome Blake Moffet.-(applause and cheering)

Thank you.Thank you, Larry.

Thanks for having me, man.Thank you for having me.

Thanks for having me. Okay,so, like, whenever you're ready.


Okay, um, Blake,now you have to admit,

Joseph Fiennesas Michael Jackson?

Come on, that's a bitof a stretch.

Mm, I don't...I don't think so, okay?

This story, yeah,is about 2001 Michael Jackson.

And it's not my faultthat in 2001,

Michael Jackson looked like oneof the Fiennes bros, you know?

-(laughter) -But I think we'remissing the larger point here.


Which is?

Joey Fiennes is acting again.


That's so huge.

Also, Larry, you castfor the story you're telling.

Like, Marlon Brandois also featured,

but it's not like On the Waterfront Brando.

It's greasy, gelatinous Brando.

So, I'm not castingAdrien Brody, you know?

Imagine the money we'd spendon fatty fat suites.

-Latex is not cheap.-WILMORE: Hold up.

But, Blake,Michael Jackson actually spoke

-about this very thing.-Mm-hmm.

-Look at what he told Oprahin 1993. -Yeah.

Why would I want a white childto play me?

I'm a black American.

I'm proudto be a black American.


He couldn't have beenmore correct.

He was a black child.

So if we were doing, like,The Jackson Five story,

you know, you'd want someonelike-- I don't know--

like "Jahden" Smith, or, um,

like that Beasts of No nation kid, you know?

Although, word is he won'taudition for this. I don't know.

Uh, I have no ideawhat you're talking about.

Look, this still rubs methe wrong way.

Well, you know, as long as we'retalking about Michael Jackson,

you know,let's listen his music, too.

Primarily, it doesn't matterif you're black or white.

No, that was about his strugglewith his own identity.

Okay, I took itas him being okay

-with us casting Joe Fiennes.-No! -(laughter)

How could he have known that?!

It was 25 years ago!

I know, but it's like,

what's the same today,the same... I don't know.

It's-it's... it's goodthat he's working.


WILMORE:What are you talking about?!

Look, I... You know what?

-This movie takes place in 2001.-Right?


Like, if it took place in 2010,

I would have castGwyneth Paltrow, you know?


No. I'm serious.

Like, personally, I thinkshe could still open a movie.

Okay, you know,this was not helpful at all.

But now I seewhy Hollywood is broken.

-You know what, though?-What?

I love what you're doing.

I want to bein the Larry Wilmore business.

-What?-What are you doing right now?

I have a TV show.You're on it right now.

Oh, my God. Oh, my bad. (laughs)


That's so funny.

I thought this was, like,a Skype or something.

My assistant Arturo told meit was Skype.

Anyway, ta-ta. Bye.


(laughter,applause and cheering)

Frickin' Hollywood, man.Frickin' Hollywood.

We'll be right back. Hollywood.

(applause and cheering)

(applause and cheering)

Welcome back.I'm here with my panel.

First up, Nightly Show contributor Grace Parra.

-Hi.-(applause and cheering)

And Nightly Show contributorRobin Thede.

(applause and cheering)

And very funny comedianChris Distefano.

-PARRA: Yay! we got to do it.-You got it.

-You got it.-Just made it.

-Just made it. -No, I almostsaid, "Chris Grizstefano." Yeah.

That's it. I'm a little grizzlyright now with the facial hair.

-Yeah. Looking good, man.-Thank you.

WILMORE: For everyone at home,join our conversation right now

on Twitter @NightlyShow,using the hashtag Tonightly.

Okay, so, in the wakeof the Oscars...

-Oscars so white, right?-PARRA: Mm-hmm.

-THEDE: Yup, #OscarsSoWhite.-#OscarsSoWhite.

I can't believe it was announced

that Joseph Fiennes was gonnaplay Michael Jackson.

-THEDE: Ugh! -PARRA:They're mean. -In this, uh...

And here is the movie.It's this road trip--

apparently this is true--that Michael Jackson,

Marlon Brandoand Elizabeth Taylor

took a road tripthe day after 9/11.

-THEDE: Yeah.-DISTEFANO: Mm-hmm.

WILMORE:Somehow they got stuck to it.

That is unbelievable.

And, apparently,I think Vanity Fair said

that, uh, they got...they were getting upset

because Marlon Brando keptstopping, like, at Burger King.

-(laughter)-Classic Brando. Classic Brando.

Classic. Have it your way.

Could you imagine working ata Wendy's, and somebody said,

(imitating Brando): "Hey, uh, weordered four chocolate shakes."

-(laughter)-DISTEFANO: You guys had...

"There's only, uh... there'sonly three people in there."


(Wilmore coughs)

(as Brando):"I got the chocolate shakes.

What do you guys want?"

-Oh.-I can't believe that

any of them had a license.Like who...?

-Who...? -It must have beenexpired. -WILMORE: Yeah.

-Yeah. -None of them have beendriving for years.

DISTEFANO:Or, like, did they have money?

-None of them have, like, actualmoney. -WILMORE: I know.

"Like, do we pay with this dust?We don't know?

-WILMORE: Yeah. Yeah.-PARRA: Sure. -I have a potion.

Do you remember when Oprahand Gayle took their road trip,

and Oprah didn't knowhow to pump gas?

-(laughter) -I mean, like,this was just like that.

-WILMORE: A bit rough.-PARRA: Just like that.

-At least in my mind. I don'tknow. -DISTEFANO: It was so.

-Anyway, I'm sureyou had a question. -Well, nah.

But now you have Joseph Fiennesplaying Michael Jackson.

People are angry.Why are they so angry?

-PARRA: People are angry.-THEDE: Oh, they're so mad.

-Why are they mad? -They'reso mad. Because it's like

black peoplecan't play white roles,

and now black peoplecan't play black roles?

-PARRA: Yeah, yeah.-Like, what are you doing?!

PARRA: I think it's ironicthat we're so angry,

-because we hated MichaelJackson, by the way. -Oh, no.

-WILMORE: Who hated MichaelJackson? -(indistinct chatter)

When he was alive,people hated Michael Jackson.

-THEDE: I did not hate... No, Ididn't. I didn't. -WILMORE: No!

Late night was all about jokesabout how he was a pedophile.

-THEDE: No. I... -We hated him,and now that he's dead,

suddenly we careabout who's playing him.

-I don't know. -No.People love Michael Jackson.

-We liked his music, we hatedthe personality. -MAN: Yes.

-Nope. We hated the pedophilia.-One person was, like, yes.

-I... I like...-We like... That's it.

We like the music,we hated the pedophilia. Yes.

Yeah, that's all.It's very different.

Yo, we have to come upwith a new term for that.

Like, uh, "horrible personshow business dilemma thing."

-THEDE: Yeah. Yeah.-PARRA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

-Or that type of thing. Goahead. -DISTEFANO: Barber shop.

-I was trying to... HSBD.-WILMORE: Yeah, there you go.

-THEDE: Yup. -"Horribleshow business dilemma."

-THEDE: HSBD.-WILMORE: Possible, yeah.

HSBD-- it's a condition. Uh...

WILMORE: Yeah, it was very murkyabout that. Yeah, go ahead.

-THEDE: Yup.-No, no. I mean, I just think...

-Look, as a white guy...-Mm-hmm.

Um, I mean, yeah, I get it.

There's a lot of, you know,stuff going on

with the Oscars right now, andthat was a bad call, I guess.

But, you know, I mean, look,if it's... if it's about...

-If it's about... Look, I guess.-PARRA: He's so earnest.

-I was like, "You know what?"-It was a bad call, I guess.

If I was a casting director,I'd be like, "Look, Joey,

"you're good,but we can't do this, right now.

-Not now." -WILMORE:They're like, "When things..."

-When things have died down...-Died down a little bit.

Things simmer down, Joe,you're in.

But still, I feel like,you know, we were talking about

before, he's... this is laterin life Michael Jackson.

-Right. -Sure. -So you cast, youknow, like, an ol... like,

Martha Stewart would have beengood. Like, an older white woman

who's... You know what I mean?

-Yeah, yeah. -You could justput a little hair on.

-But guys... -Whoeverplays Michael's got to get

-in full makeup, so...-No, that is not true. Not true.

-You guys are missingthe obvious choice. -Okay, who?

La Toya is sitting here,ready to play these roles.

-Brilliant, brilliant.-(applause)

La Toya Jackson needs no...Thank you. -That's true.

-My... -She needs no hairand makeup, she is ready to go.

My favorite part of this, by theway, is that Joseph Fiennes

said that he was shockedthat he was cast.

It's like, bitch,you auditioned for that part.

Don't be shock... there'snothing shocking about that.

-You knew what you were doing.-All right, how much of this

should we blameon Michael's nose, though?

-I mean, 'cause it's so hard...-Unfair, his nose is not here

-to defend itself.-Yeah.

Well, that'sthe confusing part, right?

So if he still had his originalnose, even if he was light...

-Right, right.-...a black person could've...

-Has to play him. -Right. 'CauseFlex Alexander did it, you know,

he put on the lighter makeup.But, I mean, at that point,

the... with the stateof his nose at that point,

it was like only Voldemortcould have played him.

-Uh-huh, uh-huh. That's fair.-Yeah. -Who...

who was played by Ralph Fiennes,Joseph Fiennes' brother.

-It's all full circle.-It's all coming together.

-Six degrees of Fiennes.-It's a crazy connection.

So one of the Fiennes brotherswas destined

-to play Michael Jackson.-Somebody.

-It was written in the stars.-Yeah.

Were you gonna say something?

About-aboutMichael Jackson's nose?

-Oh, I don't know.-No, I don't-I don't know.

All right, let me ask you this,though, because here's the...

I don't know where his nose is.It's probably...

it's probably still inthe rental car going to Ohio.

-Yeah. -But color-blind castinghas been a big issue lately.

Especially with Hamilton. Hamilton, big hit on Broadway,

you have, like, uh, black peopleplaying Thomas Jefferson,

one of the Founding Fathers.It's a huge hit.

-Nobody seems to havea problem with that. -Right.

Well, that's 'causewe have distance from it.

We're not emotionallyconnected to Jefferson.

Like, with-with...Well, you might be

emotionally connectedto Jefferson.

I'm not connected, no, butI'm just saying, I mean, do you

want to see somebody that lookslike Ben Franklin really dancing

around up there? He's-he'sdisgusting, take out your

$100 bill-- just a fat,bloated, balding white guy.

Just out theretrying to do a number.

I want to see Ramón fromthe Bronx. That's what I want.

-Yeah. -Yeah. -I'm saying...-That must be kind of...

-that must be kind of fun.-I like it.

-I don't think you want to seethese disgusting... -Right.

-I ain't mad at a fat BenFranklin. -You ain't mad at him?

-All right.-I think the difference is, too,

these people aren'tin whiteface or blackface,

-they're just the characters.-Right.

-If-if... You know... -Would yoube mad, like, if Samuel Jackson

got in full whiteface andplayed, like, J. Edgar Hoover?

Well, I... I wouldlike it if he...

-What's wrong with that,by the way? -Nothing. -Well...

I feel like Jamie Foxx is moreof a J. Edgar Hoover type.

And they said,"Hey, Samuel Jackson

was the best actorwe could find, sorry."

Why can't we just cast it so hedoesn't have to be in makeup?

Why can't he just play the role?Like, it's TV, it's fake.

-Like, who cares?-Right. -No, but...

but it looks goodwhen they kind of look like 'em.

I know. I think-I think it'sabout emotional connection.

Like, right now we'reemotionally connected.

-What do you mean by that?-Okay, I mean like this.

Like, we are emotionallyconnected to Aaliyah right now.

I am, at least,because she's, you know,

-a recent-recent singer.-Uh-huh.

If you were to do a movieabout her right now,

she has to be playedby a black woman.

-But I think, in 250 years...-They did a movie about her

-and that caused a big brouhaha.-Yeah.

They didn't even wantZendaya, who... Zendaya,

-who is black, to play her.-But I think... I think

in 250 years you could have,like, an Asian rapper

play Aaliyah. But yougot to give it some time.

-250 years is the statuteof limitations. -That long?

-So confused. -That's a longtime. -Well, it might take

a long... it takes a while.I also, by the way,

am very emotionallyconnected to Shakira.

When Shakira: The Musical comes out,

that better be playedby a Latina.

'Cause I'm emotionally connectedto Shakira. -A Latina?

-You want... Yeah.-♪ Le-lo, la-le, lo-le.

-What just happened?-That's Shakira.

-Oh. -That's Shakira.-I think... I think

-there are some deeperGrace issues about that. -Yeah.

-Yeah. -Yeah, they're-they'reso... -This is what

-Michael Jacksondoes to people. -Go ahead.

-Yeah. -Yeah. -You know?He just brings it out of you.

-Just the weird, deep-seated...-Yeah. -Yeah.

Well, there's been so muchfrustration for so many years

with people of color justgetting roles in movies, period.

-Period. -You know?And getting recognized.

-Yeah. -Like, how muchdoes this feel like

a slap in the face when yousee something like this?

It does, and the timingwas not good. I don't think

that they planned the timing,but that's one of those things

where you're like, "Let's...Maybe we should shelf this

for a second." And I...The-the only saving grace,

I will say, is that I thinkit's-it's a TV comedy

and it's a British comedy,right? So Angela Bassett

had the best response-- OrlandoJones, comedian, tweeted,

you know, I'm only watching itif they get Angela, uh,

Angela Bassettto play Elizabeth, uh, Taylor.

-Taylor? -And she said,"That's fine, honey,

"I got my violet contacts and mybathed in white diamonds--

I'm ready to go." And I justthought that was genius.

And it's true. It's like, okay,if you've got Joe Fiennes

playing Michael Jackson,let Angela Bassett

get a little pieceof Elizabeth Taylor. Why not?

Well, I mean, I think we couldall... That's true.

-Why not? Why not?-Good point. -Yeah.

Um... I mean,the truth is, I mean,

that the moviedoesn't sound good at all.

-That's true.-I mean, it's just...

it's like, you could say what...all you want.

I feel like, ultimately, whenthis show comes out,

black people'll be like,"Thank God he wasn't

played by a black guy."You know? Like...

-They're gonna want to takecover for it. -You can

-take that, Fiennes.-Fair, fair, fair.

All right, we'll be right back.

ANNOUNCER: Grab some free tickets to attend

an upcoming taping of The Nightly Show.

Thanks to my panelistsGrace Parra,

Robin Thede and Chris Distefano.

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

I got to Keep It 100.

-♪ Boom, boom. -♪ Boom, boom. I know.

Keep It 100.Tonight's question

-is from @naturalrobin.Oh, very good, Robin. -Not me.

They ask, uh,"The studio is on fire

and you can only save one Nightly Show contributor."

-Oh! -Oh! -Damn, Larry!

-Who do you pick?-Yup. Yup.

I have to keep it 100.

Oh, (bleep).

-Come on, say it! -Say it!-All right, all right!

-(all clamoring)-Okay. Okay. Uh...

-Say it! Throw the tea! -Allright, if I have to pick one,

-uh... -Do it!-Throw it, throw it! -No, done.

-Me! -(bleep).

Okay, I'm gonna pick Rory 'causehe actually runs the show.

-Oh! -Oh! -Boo! Boo!-And my show will survive!