One thing is pretty certain about Larry Wilmore’s new show on Comedy Central. Viewers will want to hear what he has to say on Tuesday night.

Because on the debut of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore on Monday, his comments about Selma; Ferguson, Mo.; race relations; and also life in general were funny, unexpected and provocative.

Mr. Wilmore made fun of the outrage over the paucity of Oscar nominations for Selma, a biographical movie about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; he was irreverent about the Rev. Al Sharpton and Oprah Winfrey; and he carved out a joke from the controversy over the death of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who was killed when the police used a chokehold on him.