Samantha Bee On Trump’s Win: ‘I Could Feel This Seismic Shift’


Samantha Bee doesn’t sit behind a desk on her TBS show Full Frontal. She says, “For me, it would’ve been a crutch.”
Myles Aronowitz/TBS


Full Frontal host Samantha Bee makes no bones about the fact that she was caught off guard by Donald Trump’s victory on election night.

“We had a balloon drop planned. … We had balloons in our rafters, and we had to call it [off],” Bee tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “We were able to do a reset, but it was not an easy process by any means.”

For Bee and Jo Miller, the show’s co-creator, Trump’s win meant doubling down on their coverage of the White House, much to their chagrin. “There were so many other things we wanted to cover,” Bee says. “It was kind of this endless pool of stories we wanted to tell.”

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is a satire news show with a feminist point of view. It’s now in its second season on TBS. Among the postelection challenges that Bee and Miller face is finding a way to criticize Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway while also being sensitive to the misogyny many public women have to deal with.

“I know that [Conway has] gotten the same kind of personal, nasty, misogynist attacks that Sam has … and that’s wrong,” Miller says. “We wanted to make sure that we didn’t say anything that could be construed by anybody as being looks-ist or sexist or a personal attack on her, instead of the way she lives her life and does her business.”

Bee and Miller will also be hosting an independent, televised roast of the president on April 29, at the same time as the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Bee says the special, called Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, will be a “celebration of free press … a chance for us to celebrate the people who have helped us lift our show.”

Interview Highlights

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