Let's face facts, 2016 sucked. It sucked so, so much. And it was weird. Just downright weird. But one thing that helped me get through it all, that still helps me get through it now, is #FullFrontal with Samantha Bee. At a time when fake news and "alternative facts" are proliferating our social media, it's champions of comedy like #SamanthaBee that keep me from literally gouging my eyes out on a daily - or weekly -basis.
My second spotlight in my new weekly series about women in film (and television) will feature a brief look into the history and career of this phenomenal entertainer. Her show, being one of the few willing to call the President out on anything and everything, firmly cements her place on the list of women who totally kick ass. Her bold and unforgiving tone in this great time of upheaval is why Samantha Bee is my choice for this week's Spotlight.
"This Is 'The Daily Show' With Jon Stewart"
The Canadian-born actress, comedian, and political commentator is best known for being the longest-running correspondent on The Daily Show when it was still hosted by Jon Stewart. She appeared on the series for 12 years before departing in 2015. Over the years, Bee contributed to a number of #TheDailyShow's most memorable segments, including "Kill Drill," "The Undecided," and "They So Horny."
Her heartfelt goodbye in 2015 brought many of the show's viewers to tears, ending her time with a warm embrace with #JonStewart. Many were even more upset when they learned Bee wouldn't be taking over when Stewart departed the show.
Bee had her first starring role in a feature film in 2004 when she appeared in the indie film, Ham and Cheese. The film was co-written by her husband, actor and comedian and fellow Daily Show alum #JasonJones. She later made small but notable appearances in Woody Allen's Whatever Works and the 2016 Tiny Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters.
Welcome To The New Era Of TV
Packing up her belongings, Samantha Bee set up shop over at #TBS where she became the first woman to host a late-night satire show and being one of the very few women since #JoanRivers to even have a comedy talk show at all. With the challenge of carrying a show all on her own, Bee didn't hesitate when it premiered just in time to take on her greatest challenge yet: the 2016 presidential election.
Without holding back, Bee and her diverse team of writers and correspondents set out to tackle what would ultimately become the apocalyptic storm of the century..in a manner of speaking. Their unwillingness to apologize or take the easy road are one of the many reasons Full Frontal has received rousing reviews from critics and continues powering on with another hysterical season.
- Spotlight Series: Carrie Fisher And The Art Of Forging Life Into Laugh
- Spotlight Series: How Lucy Lawless Went From 'Xena' To 'The Evil Dead'
- Spotlight Series: How Lady Gaga Went From 'Just Dance' To 'AHS: Hotel'
Expanding Her Talents To TVs Everywhere
Alongside her husband, Samantha Bee co-created, co-wrote, and executive produced the TBS comedy series, #TheDetour, also currently in the midst of its second season. The show, which stars Jones himself in the lead role of Nate Parker, has been met with near critical acclaim for its endearing nature and raunchy comedy that often feels even more real than reality shows. Hilariously, Bee occasionally makes guest appearances on the show as Nate's mother.
Having been an avid watcher of the series myself, it's no wonder the show holds an 82% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It has charm, strong family values-ish, and the one thing seemingly lacking from a lot of shows that calls themselves comedy today: it's actually really funny. Bee's comedic style and timing shine through the script in every episode.
Samantha Bee, like her or not, is a force to be reckoned with. Whether hosting, writing, or tearing the lies of the establishment to shreds, she's making her name known and letting those in power know she's not going to take this endless onslaught of BS lying down. And neither should we.
Who would you like to see featured in the next Spotlight Series?