Since time immemorial, people who like asking dumb questions have pondered, “Is the landscape of late-night television ready for [eats handful of Cheetos] a woman host?” The common-sense answer would appear to be “yes,” considering that late-night hosts usually do not use their genitals to facilitate the show, and yet network heads were leery to place a lady at the fore of a late-night program. E! met with plenty of success with the Chelsea Handler-fronted Chelsea Lately, but the key distinction here would be Bee’s position as the head of a news-oriented program, as opposed to Handler’s comedy/celeb-chat model, which had been done before by Whoopi Goldberg and others. Until TBS plucked longtime Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee from Comedy Central to place her at the helm of her own half-hour Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, women had had few opportunities for wedding news with humor. And now, TBS has announced that they’ll renew Bee’s program through the end of 2016, cementing her success as a host and effectively laying this ridiculous conversation to rest.
Since launching at the beginning of February, Bee’s program has struck a chord with audiences by providing a distinctly feminist slant to many of the urgent issues facing not just women, but Americans today. She scored a certified John Oliver-lever viral hit with a scorching segment investigating the gross injustice of untested rape kits, and in doing so, more than proved her bona fides as the face of strong journalism and a personality that viewers could spend endless binged hours with. TBS approving Bee for another season’s worth of material isn’t just smart business (the show pulled a healthy-for-cable-at-least 2.2. million viewers during its debut), it’s a statement that the gates have been thrown open and it’s now safe to welcome more women to prominent positions on late-night television. Perhaps one day, one might even find her way onto a network gig. Any late-night culture with room for James Corden can certainly find space for at least one woman.