TBS host presents as much timely political humor as possible
Samantha Bee usually gets her comedic shot at election season only once a week, so she’s aiming to make every minute count.
Also an executive producer of the Wednesday series, the host of TBS’ Emmy-winning “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” has been spoofing politics and horror movies simultaneously with her “I Know What You Did Last Election” initiative. Because of her production schedule, Bee says she accepts that she might miss out on covering the most recent developments in the ever-speedy news cycle, and she’s content with keeping her humor as current as she can.
“Of course, we always wish we had more time,” Bee allows. “I don’t wish that we did the show four nights a week, on any level, but we’re always cutting great content to fit into our 21 minutes (without commercials). That’s actually one of the reasons why I’m doing a podcast now, because those extended conversations really just need a place to live. I probably could do the show for eight hours a day. No one would want that.”
In terms of political content, even if presented satirically, Bee reasons that “there are large swaths of the population who aren’t really interested in going down a fact-based scenario. I’m not sure how you really account for that. It’s very hard to lead people to the correct information.” Still, Bee adds, “If you’re undecided at this point, then it’s time to find your own island and sail away toward it.”
As for the weekly “Full Frontal” deadline, Bee explains, “Our cutoff time for adding new information is 3:00 (p.m. Eastern) on a Tuesday now, whereas it used to be 3:00 on a Wednesday. It’s really not a hindrance to our process. It has changed it a little bit, but we just account for that in the way that we shoot. It doesn’t really bother me. There are other daily shows that take care of that (up-to-the-minute) business.”
Like many programs during the coronavirus pandemic, “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” has been operating away from its regular studio, with Bee staging it from her home in upstate New York (assisted by her husband, fellow “The Daily Show” alum Jason Jones, and their three children).
“There’s certainly a more comfortable way to shoot the show,” she allows, “but I actually love shooting in the forest. It’s fun for me. I like shooting with my husband; he’s a really great collaborator. He gets how important lighting is for me, so I think we’ll continue to shoot some stuff in the forest, even when we don’t absolutely need to. Not having (a studio) audience kind of opens up some opportunities to shoot in a number of different places safely.”