Samantha Bee talks ‘Full Frontal,’ women in comedy and Ted Cruz

Katie Couric
Global Anchor

By Carly Green and Kaye Foley

Call her Queen Bee. Samantha Bee is holding court in the perennial boys’ club of late-night television.

Her new show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, debuted in February and has already become a must-watch program, garnering rave reviews, 29 million views on YouTube … and the likely ire of Ted Cruz supporters.

Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down with Bee at one of her favorite local restaurants, P.J. Clarke’s, to discuss her journey from the Toronto sketch comedy scene to the helm of Full Frontal.

Bee became a household name for her masterful satirical field reporting as the “Most Senior Correspondent” on The Daily Show. Last April, after a 12-year tenure, Bee left the show to break new barriers as the only female late-night host in the business.

Though she wasn’t approached to replace Jon Stewart (Trevor Noah got the gig), Bee insists that things worked out for her as they were supposed to. “I’m very Zen about it,” she says.

She’s happy to have landed at TBS. “I love my staff. I love the whole experience. I’m learning. I’m collaborating. I think we’re doing the show that we want to do.”

Timing has certainly been on her side when it comes to debuting Full Frontal. Bee’s counting her blessings for the comedy nirvana this election cycle has provided. “I know it wasn’t just for us, but it was really nice of everybody to be so crazy the year that we were launching our show. That was thoughtful.”

Though Bee and her writing team are taking aim at both sides of the aisle, she admits they can sometimes play favorites. “We are obsessed with Ted Cruz,” she says. “If I’m feeling down, all I have to do is watch Ted Cruz in The Crucible and my spirits lift.”

As for her own elephant in the room — the fact that she’s the only female voice in late-night right now — Samantha’s all for moving the needle forward and encouraging more women in the industry. Her advice? “Write for yourself. If nobody’s giving you parts, you write one for yourself and you perform it. And you see if the world likes it.”

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