As the Year of Twain, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain’s death, comes to a close, actor, producer, and Emmy-winning comedy writer Larry Wilmore will visit St. Mary’s College of Maryland as this year’s final Twain lecturer. The “Daily Show” senior correspondent will discuss how humor addresses controversial subjects, such as race, at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center, using a unique combination of stand-up comedy and conversation. The free public lecture will be followed with an interview by St. Mary’s College President Joe Urgo and a question-and-answer session with the audience. There also will be a book signing for Wilmore’s book, I’d Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts.
Wilmore has been involved with some of the most prominent comedy shows, including producing roles with “The Office” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air;” creator roles with “Whoopie” and “The Bernie Mac Show,” where he won he won an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Humanitas Prize; and cameo roles in the movies “Dinner for Schmucks “ and “I Love You, Man.” This fall, he will star in a new pilot comedy for CBS.
“Humor has always been important in American culture,” said Urgo. “And there are ever more outlets for our humor today than in Twain’s time. This year’s Twain Lecture gives us an expert to talk about how humor works these days, especially with controversial topics such as race and politics.”
“The Daily Show” did a segment on this year’s debate over whether to update the original Huckleberry Finn to take out controversial labels, where Wilmore offered his satirical take on the issue. Mediaite.com called it “comedy gold.”
This event concludes this year’s Mark Twain Lecture Series on American Humor and Culture.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.