March 9, 2017


Future Women's History Month: Samantha Bee's Honest Comedy Is What America Needs

Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portraits
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portraits

Fuse is celebrating Women's History Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Women's History before our eyes. Today we are honoring TV host, writer and producer Samantha Bee, whose outspoken comedy is the voice of truth this country needs.

Most people probably first saw Samantha Bee during her 12 years on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Bee started on the Comedy Central series in 2003 and became the show's longest on-going correspondent upon leaving in 2015. Despite many feeling Bee was a logical heir to Stewart's Daily Show throne, fate had bigger plans for the comedian–like her own brand-new show on TBS.

When Full Frontal with Samantha Bee premiered in February 2016, Bee became the first woman to lead a late-night news satire show and part of a small group of women who've hosted any kind of late-night show. To top it off, Bee is also an executive producer on Full Frontal.

Now in its second season, Full Frontal is Emmy-nominated and more imperative than ever. Simply put, President Trump's 2016 election win, and everything he, his cabinet and his supporters have done since, offer more than enough material for the weekly series. Don't let that undermine the impressive feat Bee and her Full Frontal team pull off every week, spinning the latest political mess into comedy gold.

Not one to mince words, Bee's dismantling of politicians and White House happenings is brutal, hilarious and consistently brilliant. But Bee takes on more than just politicians: Racism, sexism, gun control, and LGBTQ issues are all topics Bee isn't afraid to speak about bluntly, and not always with a clever joke or pun to soften the blow.

Last June, just days after the Pulse nightclub shooting that took the lives of 49 innocent people, Bee addressed the situation like only she could. She was obviously moved, and not just sad, but angry and fed up, like many of us watching at home. Kicking off the episode, Bee went right in:

"After a massacre, the standard operating procedure is you stand on stage and deliver some well-meaning words about how we will 'get through this together,' how 'love wins,' how 'love conquers hate.' That is great. That is beautiful, but you know what? Fuck it. I am too angry for that. Love does not win unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems."

Bee doesn't pull punches. She says what many would agree needs to be said. She's informed, impassioned and has a knack for breaking down the overwhelming news cycle in ways that make viewers laugh and reflect, or if you're me, literally cheer in agreement.

How Bee goes so hard, for 30 straight minutes every week, baffles me, but thank God she does. Over the next four years, I believe a voice like Samantha Bee's (who ironically is Canadian-born but is now a citizen of both Canada and the United States) will be integral to America's future, and my sanity.