Samantha Bee branches out from ‘The Daily Show’ roots

With the premier episode of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (FFSB) on TBS on Feb. 8, Bee follows in the footsteps of other “Daily Show” correspondents such as Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Larry Wilmore to debut a new show after parting ways with “The Daily Show.”

The show follows the same format that was made famous by “The Daily Show” a topical, satirical late night show. The premier show covered the New Hampshire primary, which happened a week prior, as well as some of the debates for both parties. There were a few jokes aimed at both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. However, at one point in the show Bee said, “I have to be honest with you, we wrote like two hours of jokes about Democrats, but then we had to throw them all out because the Republicans laid out a banquet of all you can eat crazy!”

"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" is on TBS. Photo provided by
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” is on TBS.
Photo provided by

One of the subjects covered was the Republican debate on ABC, in which Bee pointed out how things started off badly, showing how the candidates could not even walk from the backstage area to the podiums correctly. There were also a few segments which were quite funny, one being a short mockumentary type piece on Jeb Bush and his time on the campaign trail. One example highlighted was that while Bush held a town hall meeting with 100 people, Trump was nearby holding a massive rally.

Another segment was what Bee called “shining our light on people who don’t get enough attention, the already elected.” Appropriately titled “Elected Paperweight of the Month,” the paperweight was Kansas State Senator Mitch Holmes. Holmes earned this honor because he had written up a dress code for the state capital targeted only at women. He said that “he didn’t include men in the guideline because they already know how to look professional.” Bee went on to discuss several problems with the state of Kansas and Holmes’ track record in office, sarcastically saying it’s good to know he has his priorities in order.

There are a few changes from “The Daily Show” format such as no desk or guests and it will only be on once a week not, for lack of a better term, daily. Based on this, some are comparing the shows style to that of “Tosh.0.” Of course, these comparisons made to the Comedy Central show hosted by Daniel Tosh should be ignored by Bee because they are being made in the comments section on the “Full Frontal” YouTube channel by Internet trolling keyboard warriors, which many believe is Tosh’s key demographic.

With “Full Frontal,” Bee becomes the lone woman in a male dominated late night talk show world. Chelsea Handler had her “Chelsea Lately” show on the E! channel but her show ended in 2014. Once again this should not be a cause of concern for her, because unlike Tosh and Handler, Bee is relevant and actually funny.

One initial review in comparison to the new Daily Show is, “Almost out of the gate, FFWSB had teeth to its political humor that many claim are lacking with Trevor Noah’s version of “The Daily Show.”

These comparisons are made mostly because many thought that being the longest tenured correspondent, being on the show from 2003-2015, Bee was the logical choice to become Jon Stewart’s replacement. However, Bee and her husband, fellow “Daily Show” alum Jason Jones, were already set to leave “The Daily Show.” Bee and Jones got the greenlight for “The Detour,” a comedy they had developed for TBS, the same week that Stewart announced his retirement.

With Bee’s experience gained at the “Daily Show” and the current circus of what passes for presidential campaign season “Full Frontal” should be around for quite some time and for many will offer a change of pace from that of her former correspondent peers who are all successful in their post “Daily Show” careers. However, they are basically sticking with the standard that was created by Stewart. Bee is taking the ever growing world of satirical news shows and putting her own stamp on it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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