Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which is in the midst of its fourth season, has often made the most noise and delved deepest into issues that have sometimes fallen by the wayside in the over-caffeinated Donald Trump driven news cycle. Host and producer Samantha Bee has even had the unique experience of being pulled into that news cycle, prompting Trump and his acolytes to call for her to lose her job after remarks about the President’s aide (and daughter), Ivanka Trump, were deemed controversial. But that hasn’t slowed Bee down. The show has forged on and Bee has continued to take hard swings.
On Saturday (10pm EST) TBS will air the second Not The White House Correspondents Dinner, offering an answer to the actual correspondents’ dinner’s recusal from its duty to roast the President (every President, as is tradition). It’s also a response to a world made more hostile toward the press thanks to Trump’s words and actions (proceeds from the event, which is being recorded Friday, are going to the Committee To Protect Journalists). But as Bee explained when we spoke with her earlier this week, this latest special and everything her show does isn’t done out of a sense of obligation. Rather, Bee is propelled by a sense inspiration and passion that enriches the work that she and her team put out.
Thanks for doing this. I appreciate it.
Oh, no problem. I’m happy to be doing it. I’m in the hotel lobby so you’ll have to pardon me for a sec, I’m going to try to find a quiet, kind of unobtrusive place. There’s a lot of club music playing. [Laughs]
That’s my lede: Sam Bee called me from the club…
It’s four o’clock in the morning, I was in Ibiza…
Yeah, exactly. Perfect. So, what was your response when they announced that they weren’t going to go ahead with a comedian as host of the actual White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
Well, I think that was one of the deciding factors for us in determining very positively that we were going to do our own event, actually. We kind of heard that and went, “Oh brother, okay. Well, let’s do it again.” The idea was bubbling in my own brain and amongst the staff. I’m pretty sure that was one of the precipitating pieces of information that pushed us forward. It was just so unfair. When the President reacts so strongly to something and tells the White House Correspondents’ Association to do something about it… and they actually pivoted. Listen, I think Ron Chernow will do a great job. He’s a smart guy. He knows what he’s doing. But, you know, this is the tradition. When you’re the President, it’s your job to sit there once a year and look straight into the eye of a comedian and take your lumps for fifteen minutes. It’s part of the social contract. So, we decided to do one.