The Nightly Show's Larry Wilmore Makes Pueblo Officials Look Like Idiot Stoners

We're guessing that Pueblo County officials weren't terribly amused by a segment last night in The Nightly Show, the Larry Wilmore-hosted Daily Show spin-off on Comedy Central.

That's because they were portrayed as both incredibly stoned and hopelessly incompetent.

The bit, on view below, is part of a new feature on the program.

Its moniker: "Larry's Dank News Stash."

The first two items in the stash pertain to an NFL player arguing that the league should okay medical marijuana for pain relief (an approach that would cut down on opioid use) and a report showing that people over 55 represent the fasting-growing demographic for cannabis consumption — and while Wilmore makes his share of pot jokes while discussing the topics, he makes it clear that he's pro-marijuana in both instances.

Then comes the third section, which he introduces like so: "Shockingly, this marijuana news comes from Colorado."

Cut to an MSNBC report that chirpily declares, "Pot smokers in Colorado are helping send kids to college."

After a pause, Wilmore interjects: "It kind of makes sense, because the only thing that can make you feel smarter than a college education is weed."

Then comes a snippet from KRDO in Colorado Springs, which notes that Pueblo County students will be able to apply for scholarships funded by marijuana taxes as long as they're high-school seniors who plan to attend college in the community — a program managed under the auspices of the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation. The offer amount: $1,000 per student. The deadline for applying was April 29.

"This pot scholarship is only good for kids who want to stay in their home town?" Wilmore asks at that point. "Well, if there's one thing weed can help with, it's not going anywhere.

"Whether you're for or against drugs, I think we can all agree that if this can help kids get an education without mortgaging their future with heavy debt, then as a society, that's got to make us feel pretty good," he adds. "Not because we helped them accomplish their goals, but because we just smoked all that fucking weed."

Yes, the "fucking" in that last sentence was bleeped for broadcast.

Next, Wilmore introduces "Pueblo County Comptroller Slade Kinnebrew," whose office includes a Colorado state flag, a lava lamp and a gnome.

Not exactly a subtle portrayal — but Wilmore quickly introduces a slab of actual news.

"In November, lawmakers said the weed tax would pay for 400 scholarships for high-school seniors" — something that's true, as evidenced by this article. "That's pretty good. But now that number's only 25" — a statement that's also accurate. "So what happened?

"I'm just the comptroller," Kinnebrew says. "What do you want me to do, balance the budget or something?"

"Yes, that's literally your job," Wilmore replies.

Kinnebrew pauses before a cheerful rejoinder. "Yeah. Touche, man.... That's French for 'touch.'"

He adds: "Yo, the last time I checked, 25 was a lot more than zero, so like, yeah, all right. And yeah, we messed up maybe just a little bit, but we're really high over here, bro."

"Students are still getting $1,000 each, right?" Wilmore asks.

"Yeah, we're talking full ride to Harvard time, man," Kinnebrew maintains — before specifying that he's talking about "Harvard Junior College," which Wilmore points out doesn't exist in Pueblo. But that winds up not mattering, because after a glance at a folder, Kinnebrew declares, "We smoked all of our profits, dude! Yep, we've got a full-on deficit!"

And then he breaks up laughing.

The folks behind the scholarship program are unlikely to have done the same.

Here's "Larry's Dank News Stash" from last night. The Colorado portion starts at about the 4:55 mark.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts