“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” the late-night comedy show starring the former “Daily Show” correspondent, arrives Monday night at 10:30 on TBS — also simulcast (for this night) on its sister stations TNT, Adult Swim, truTV and HLN. We’ve got questions. Maybe you’ve got ’em, too:
Why is this a historic moment in late-night TV?
“Historic” may be too big a word, but a slightly smaller one — notable — seems about right. In the long history of late-night TV, you can count all the female hosts on one hand, and still have a few fingers left over. Only Joan Rivers and Chelsea Handler had any sort of longevity, or household-name stature. So maybe we should revise this to “darn close to historic.”
What to expect with “Full Frontal”? (It’s live to tape, so no review copy was available)
Bee — in promos sent to writers — has declared that this show will have a female perspective. Example: One promotional spot shows her standing in front of a wall with pictures of all the other late-night hosts. A waiter approaches with a plate of sausages. (Uh-oh — you know where this is heading.) She pushes the waiter away, saying: “I’m kind of done with sausage. I’m female as [expletive].”
Bee had the longest run — after Jon Stewart — of anyone on “The Daily Show,” from 2003 to 2015. Why wasn’t she made host instead of Trevor Noah?
Sensitive question! Coincidentally, Serena Altschul pressed her on this during a recent profile on “CBS Sunday Morning.” Bee laughed — ruefully. Then her husband of 15 years, Jason Jones, also formerly of “TDS,” responded: “She would’ve been a terrific host, absolutely. You’re going to have to ask the powers that be at Comedy Central.” In fact, there has been considerable press speculation that she left “TDS” after the 12-year run because she had been passed over.
How will her show approach the world?
Just once a week, for starters. (Who knows after that, if it’s a success?) Expect a mixture of topical pretaped pieces, and a field piece to end it. Also: No desk, no guests. The tone should approximate that of her long “TDS” run, which is to say sharply satirical alongside a mock-serious interview style that inverts either the interviewee or topic of discussion. Expect no prisoners to be taken.