Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
The Mother Jones Podcast
Samantha Bee doesn’t think comedy will take Trump down. She calls her craft “impotent beyond belief” in the face of the daily presidential wrecking ball. But then, the creator and star of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee thinks preaching to the choir is absolutely fine—moral, even.“Talking to the people that you agree with is very good,” she tells Washington D.C. bureau chief David Corn, in this wide-ranging conversation recorded onstage at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. “I think it’s important to have as many voices as possible just go, ‘This is wrong. I disagree with this. This is how it should be. We’re not all crazy!”
When she started, Bee felt sure that airing just six episodes would result in the whole show being canceled for being too sharply opinionated. Now she thinks of her weekly, Emmy Award-winning (and just re-nominated) program—in its fifth season despite the pandemic—as “my own little historical record of this age.” It’s become a platform from which to educate, commiserate, and shock, with a panoply of facts, jokes, and mini-seminars about how the hell we got here and how to fix it. And she couldn’t care less if her critics call her an activist.“Look, when you have a show, you’ve got to do something with it,” she tells Corn. “To not use it to do something with it in a time of great distress feels like a huge waste to me. Why wouldn’t you?”
This interview, taped in February, is part of a limited series co-produced by Mother Jones and the Comedy Cellar, the venerable stand-up venue. Don’t miss Corn’s recent interviews with Debbie Harry and John Leguizamo by subscribing to the podcast.