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Late Night: 'Daily Show' pushes back against Jeremy Lin mania

February 17, 2012 |  9:10 am

At the moment, Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin may be the most popular man in all of New York City, but the Harvard alum already has a few detractors. Chief among them is Larry Wilmore, "senior black correspondent" on 'The Daily Show."

On Thursday, Wilmore feigned outrage at the Taiwanese American player for his superior basketball abilities. "How can it be that in the middle of Black History Month, an Asian kid comes in and does this?" he wondered. 

Jon Stewart asked Wilmore to clarify his position: "You're upset that an Asian person is excelling at a traditionally African American sport?"

Indeed, he was. "I'm not the only one who's not happy," Wilmore claimed. As evidence, he pointed to Knicks player Carmelo Anthony sitting on the bench in street clothes. "He can't even bring himself to put on his uniform."

Stewart reminded Wilmore that Anthony is actually recovering from an injury, but Wilmore would hear none of it. "I'd be hurt too. Have your job outsourced to Asia right in your face."

He suggested that Lin's basketball career was merely an attempt to win back the love of his "Tiger Mom" after earning a disappointing 3.1 GPA at Harvard -- otherwise known as an "Asian F."

Wilmore claimed that basketball is just another thing -- like jazz, rock 'n' roll, and Ebonics -- that other groups have "taken" from black people.

"Nothing is being taken, Larry," Stewart insisted. 

"Oh, really?" Wilmore asked, cutting to a clip of Lin telling reporters, "I feel like I'm in a dream."

"You have a dream?" he said with mock disgust."Knickerbocker, please. Slow down, Martin Luther Kung Pao!"

In the end, Wilmore reluctantly concluded that Lin's rise might just be revenge for Neil deGrasse Tyson, the black astrophysicist (and frequent "Daily Show" guest).

"What was he thinking? Science? That's Asians' turf."


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— Meredith Blake