The late night talk show scene is not only crowded with men. It’s also become bogged down in the same formula across the board: A man sits behind a desk, tells some jokes set to a graphic in the upper third, and closes out the show by having a conversation with a celebrity shilling for their latest movie or TV show. This sameness though affords a special sort of opportunity for a bold creative mind like that of Samantha Bee’s. Her own show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, debuted on TBS earlier this year, and it’s anything but run-of-the-mill.
Debuting just in time for election season, Bee came right out of the gates swinging. Many are even anointing her the heir apparent to the crown left by Jon Stewart’s Daily Show departure. For those of you who’ve yet to tune in, there are plenty of reasons to give Full Frontal with Samantha Bee a shot.
1. This isn’t your average talk show
There a few key elements that virtually all talk shows agree need to be included: a desk, celebrity guests, a team of correspondents, a live house band, and a co-host that acts as a comedic foil. Samantha Bee has none of these things, and it’s all part of a concerted effort to break with the norm. Speaking to Mashable, she offered some insight into the show’s bold decisions: “As a viewer, I am sort of sick of seeing someone sit behind a desk. I actually like using my body a little bit more. I find if I’m really stationary, sometimes all the comedy goes into my face, and then it’s a really weird performance of me just pulling crazy faces.”
She goes on to note her preference for utilizing guests only “when it’s germane to the content of the show that we’re trying to build,” not simply as required props for filling the latter minutes. The sum total is something that manages to stand apart from an a field of competitors that are now miles behind Bee creatively.
2. Samantha Bee is one of the most talented minds in political satire
Bee cut her teeth so to speak as a correspondent on The Daily Show, becoming known for her incisive and hilarious segments that often upstaged even Jon Stewart. She’s since grown out of a supporting role, and Full Frontal is exactly what it promises to be: a full-on, unrestrained unleashing of Bee’s talents. She’s no longer relegated to the sidelines, and she’s entered into the fray right when she’s needed most, right as the 2016 presidential campaigns are in full swing. In the end, the world of political commentary is better off for having more Samantha Bee in it.
3. “I don’t at all shy away from the question of being a woman in this space.”
The above quote is pulled from a press event reported by Mashable, coming straight from Bee herself. She’s well aware of her role as the only woman in late night, and rather than trying to pretend that’s not significant, she’s using it as a soapbox for gender equality. Politically, women’s issues have never been at a more precarious point. Bee is here to tip the balance in the right direction.
4. Full Frontal fills the Daily Show-sized hole in our collective hearts
Jon Stewart’s Daily Show departure still feels fresh in the minds of everyone. While Trevor Noah hasn’t done a bad job replacing him, the shoes left to fill are almost impossibly large. The general consensus is that the new iteration of The Daily Show is missing something, and that something is embodied in Samantha Bee’s own brand of political satire. Without Stewart around to lead the charge, it’s clear that Bee is the obvious heir apparent.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest