Full Frontal Host Samantha Bee Gets Personal at the Arlington

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Karen Ha

Previously a correspondent of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and now the host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Samantha Bee took the Arlington Theatre stage to converse with The Santa Barbara Independent columnist, Starshine Roshell.

The two began with an exchange of compliments that led to a discussion on blazers, Bee’s signature clothing piece. Bee explained that wearing a blazer is like her own “little turtle shell.”

The two shifted focus to the latest episode of Full Frontal, which revolved around gun control, the anniversary of the presidential election, and the Democratic victories in the recent local elections. Bee commented that this, “sense of victory and positivity felt very unfamiliar.”

The discussion took a vulgar turn when it was mentioned that Bee had referred to the president as “President Bone Spurs” on that episode. She went on to list the different nicknames that she had given him on her show, her personal favorite being “Screaming Carrot Demon.”

Despite her status as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017, Bee considers herself to be shy and socially awkward at parties. Roshell pressed her about how this is possible.

Bee explained that, “I think there’s a weird pathology with a lot of performers that we are all the shy kids who have this secret inner life.”

Bee even delved into her personal life. Though she is a late night host and the executive producer of The Detour, starring her husband Jason Jones, she lives a very normal life as the mother of three children. She still does laundry, cooks, and packs her kids’ lunches everyday.

When asked about her time on The Daily Show, Bee described the process of finding her own voice to stand out from other correspondents, which included Stephen Colbert and Rob Corddry.

“I tried to make myself really indispensable by really engaging with the process of making field pieces,” Bee said.

Bee went on about how that experience influenced her to bring field pieces to her own show. She felt that the field pieces complemented Full Frontal and brought variety. They brought “happiness and joy” to her life because she got to leave the “confines of the studio.”

As the rare female voice among so many male late-night hosts like Seth Meyers, John Oliver, and Trevor Noah, Roshell asked Bee why there aren’t more female late night hosts.

Bee did not give a direct answer but said she was glad that there are recently more female voices in addition to hers, like Sarah Silverman. She hoped that this trend would continue because “different voices add to our culture.”

The show also has strong females behind the scenes as well; Bee said that her writers are mostly women. She credited her “amazing research department,” saying that the writing came from “a place of journalism and research.”

Bee was asked about her show’s struggle between comedy and activism. She referred to the most recent episode as an example.

In the episode, Bee describes Eric Schneiderman and the coalition of other state Attorney Generals as heroes. “There are people out there who have our backs,” Bee said. 

Again, the conversation pivoted back to Bee’s personal life. She shared the story of how she met her husband, Jason Jones, and talked about how they interact with their children.

The event wrapped up with a question and answer session with the audience. Audience members’ questions ranged from the current state of feminism to whether the alcohol Bee drank on the show is real.

After the Q&A part, Bee complimented everyone who wore the nasty woman tee-shirt her show sold to support Planned Parenthood; this concluded what could “bee” considered an unforgettably fun night.

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