Larry Wilmore gets groans and grimaces at White House Correspondents gala

Larry Wilmore already succeeded Stephen Colbert once, as host of the program (now dubbed “The Nightly Show”) that follows “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. And he sought to do it again Saturday night, delivering a pointed, coolly received routine as the featured entertainment at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Wilmore had sporadic moments, but never found his rhythm.

 The so-called “Nerd Prom” has become a potentially treacherous assignment for comics, perhaps especially since Colbert flayed then-President George W. Bush, along with the assembled media, a decade ago. Intense partisanship and the heat of a presidential race surely raised the degree of difficulty this go-round.

In the unenviable spot of following Obama, Wilmore hit many of the same themes, and certainly spread his salvos among a wide array of targets, from each of the cable news networks to an assortment of politicians. He also tackled race more aggressively than many previous performers in this venue, which shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his show.

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