November 1, 2020
EP. 186 — Can Comedy Save Us All? with Samantha Bee
Look, we already know the answer to this question. But we can dream! We’re sending you into Election Day with an early release of this week’s Getting Curious, featuring a conversation with the iconic comedian, writer, and producer Samantha Bee. She and Jonathan talk political humor, the Golden Girls, Canadian health care, and so much more. Take a listen when you’re in line to vote, when you need a break from refreshing last-minute polling numbers, or on the other side of Election Day—whatever happens, we’re here for you.
Samantha Bee is the host and Executive Producer of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS and the podcast Full Release with Samantha Bee on Earwolf. Follow her on Twitter @iamsambee, and keep up with Full Frontal on Twitter and Instagram @FullFrontalSamB.
Find out what today’s guest and former guests are up to by following us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN.
Check out all new Getting Curious merch at PodSwag.com.
Listen to more music from Quiñ by heading over to TheQuinCat.com.
Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.
186 — Can Comedy Save Us All? with Samantha Bee
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
& Samantha Bee
JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a 40 minute conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. I’d also like to quickly add that I’m literally standing in a coat closet as we speak. On today’s episode, I’m joined by the comedian, writer, producer, and late night host Samantha Bee, where I ask her: Can Comedy Save Us All? Welcome to “Getting Curious.” This is Jonathan Van Ness, and I’m so excited for today’s guest. I’m actually really so excited today for several reasons. This is our last episode prior to the election. And I just feel like I’ve been trying to hit these, these hard hitting issues for quite some time. And I just felt like the one before, the week before the election, let’s, let’s talk about comedy and who better to talk about with comedy than Samantha Bee. Welcome to the show. How are you?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:00:55] I’m fine. How are you?
JVN [00:00:58] Yeah.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:00:58] I’m fine.
JVN [00:01:00] I feel like that’s a great new response because I’m still in that autopilot of people asking me how I am, and I’m, like, “Great!” And then I’m, like, “Oh.”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:01:08] Wait, I’m not really great. Or I can’t say.
JVN [00:01:11] It’s like, fine.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:01:12] It’s OK. Like, healthy. There’s a caveat to every answer to that question.
JVN [00:01:17] Yeah. So that’s that and great. So here’s today’s question. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the podcast before, but we always do a, it’s, everything’s a question.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:01:26] OK.
JVN [00:01:27] And our question for you is, is can comedy save us all?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:01:31] No. And anyway, podcast is over. That’s it.
JVN [00:01:34] Thanks for coming. This was really-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:01:35] Close your computer. Microphones off.
JVN [00:01:37] You know, I do. I think that, you know, you’re right. Not to get to the last second right at the top but let’s go there. You can’t predict everything.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:01:44] You can’t.
JVN [00:01:44] It’s, it can’t save us all, but it sure can help us process stuff.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:01:50] I can totally agree with you on that. It can help us process stuff and truly, like, is life worth living all that much if you can’t laugh at absurdity or something, at some point? Like, it gets you through things. It creates, there’s, like, a shared experience of it. It’s, like, kind of a communal experience. We think that that has a lot of value. So it’s not like it’s going to save us, but it has tremendous value.
JVN [00:02:19] It really does. It has many values. And I just also feel like if for some reason, if you’ve been living under a rock and you don’t understand who the fuck Samantha Bee is, I feel like you should get out of here. But in doing a little bit of research. I did, I did find a few things that I didn’t know. One of which I think is, like, the most interesting is that you were the longest serving, even longer than Colbert, correspondent on “The Daily Show,” which I guess I was just so busy trying to, like, not die of meth overdoses or, like, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t know.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:02:51] I just can’t believe you weren’t paying attention to the trajectory of my career for those years.
JVN [00:02:54] I was watching. I was watching. I was checking in and checking out. I was, but I wasn’t, I didn’t know. And so that’s just kind of really major. You also became the first woman to host a late night show in 2016 with the launch of “Full Frontal.” I think it’s also really amazing to see, having been in the industry now for a little bit, I, to get your own show is so hard.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:03:18] So hard.
JVN [00:03:19] To get your own show and have it not be one season long is even harder.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:03:26] So very hard.
JVN [00:03:27] So you are a successful host of a late night television show. You also are a woman. You also are a Canadian, slash, U.S. citizen, which that happened in 2014, which was probably, you know, one of the best things of 2014, because honestly, like, that was the year of Sochi and they gave Sotnikova the gold when obviously Yuna Kim fucking deserved it. Don’t even get me started on the midterms that year. I don’t think we had a great midterms that year. I got to stop talking honestly, so we can get to the fucking point.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:03:56] No.
JVN [00:03:56] Because I can’t stop talking, I was just in a brainstorming call.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:03:59] I get it.
JVN [00:03:59] And you know how like on brainstorming calls you just can’t shut the fuck up?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:04:03] Or you’re very quiet, or you’re very, you’re like, “This is not going well.”
JVN [00:04:06] I’m the other one. I’m the other one that, nope, that’s not me. I’m always like can’t, can’t stop talking. And then it’s like everyone’s like, “Oh, great. We’ve been here for an hour and a half and we haven’t done anything.”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:04:15] Do you give yourself the freedom to just, like, throw all the, just like, bad ideas and good ideas, and all the ideas. And, like, slap ‘em on a Post-It and put it on the wall, like, are you?
JVN [00:04:25] Draw the lines, connect the dots.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:04:26] Just yeah, like a serial killer. Like the map of the-.
JVN [00:04:29] I do. And then I get so frustrated afterwards that it’s not done! Like, I just, I just want to understand. But, you know, that’s that process, and I am really enjoying the process. I love, I love the process.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:04:39] OK. Yeah.
JVN [00:04:41] And really, I want to talk about processes with you.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:04:44] OK. I like a process.
JVN [00:04:46] Me too. Well, some. I like some.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:04:49] Sort of. They don’t always work.
JVN [00:04:50] Yes. So when you were minding your own business in Canada.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:04:56] Yes.
JVN [00:04:57] You are, like, a young Samantha Bee.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:00] Yes.
JVN [00:05:00] And when did you, like, did you know that there is gonna be a point where you’re, like, “I have to, like, distill information to folks. And I really want to entertain, yet made people laugh,” like, was it a light bulb? Was it a-?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:14] No.
JVN [00:05:15] Oh, no.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:16] No. Oh, no. God, no. No. I grew up. I just had no idea that I would end up being a performer in front of people, like, it was not in my, I didn’t come to that until much later in life. Like late 20s.
JVN [00:05:28] So where were you? In Canada? Growing up?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:30] In Toronto.
JVN [00:05:31] You were?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:32] Yeah, I was. Why? Why? Is that exciting?
JVN [00:05:36] Yeah.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:37] It’s awesome.
JVN [00:05:37] You were in a metropolis.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:39] Metropolis.
JVN [00:05:39] You were in a, in a big Canadian metropolis.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:41] Yep.
JVN [00:05:42] So I just am trying to get a vision of like-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:44] OK.
JVN [00:05:44] You know, like, you minding your own business in Toronto and like what that was like.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:05:47] I’m trying to imagine what that actually was like. Like in, it really just, I thought that I would be, I was, like, the first person in my family to go to college. So it was more like, you have to, please go to college. And I was like, “I will go to college,” ’cause I’m smart. I was a very irresponsible teenager, but I was like, all right, I’m going to go college. But I also should make a living. So I’m gonna make a living. How do you make a living? If you’re a college-educated person? Like, I just was so far away from anything. It just, you know what I mean?
JVN [00:06:19] So you didn’t have an intention of like, I’m going to go learn how to write comedy and become a comedian in Los Angeles or New York.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:06:26] I thought that I would be a lawyer. I thought that I would go to law school. I thought I would go to school, get a general kind of, like, a degree in English literature. And then I would apply, take the LSAT and go to law school and become, like, a successful business person, like, a successful attorney with no passion for the law, like, no real interest in it. But just more of an interest in creating, like, a safe framework for living, like, you know? Because that was logic. That was like the path that a lot of Canadian teenagers or, you know, my peers, that’s kind of what we all thought. And then I took a theater class. And I was like, “Oh, I’m going to do this.” Actually, I am very, I’m good at this. I’m going to do this because I love it. Like that, that actually was a light bulb moment where I was like-.
JVN [00:07:15] Oh.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:07:15] Gone to a stage, and I went, I was like, “Oh, my God! I’m not nervous at all. In fact, I feel more myself than I have at any other point.” Like, I just, I don’t know if you have experienced this, but the way that I think about it is like, like, I auditioned for a play and I was like, “I’m gonna-,” like, with no expectation or knowledge or awareness of anything. And I got a really good part in the play. And then I only learned my part and I didn’t even read the rest of the play, like, until the end, I didn’t even know that you were supposed to know what happened in the play.
JVN [00:07:50] Oh no.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:07:51] Like I only learned my own part. I was performing the show, having not really seen or have any knowledge of what happened at the end.
JVN [00:07:58] Did that work out?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:07:59] It worked out fine. Yeah. It was like, we did, ’cause the first day, the first time that we did like a full dress rehearsal of the show. We’re just, like, a full run and everybody’s in their costumes and everybody’s, like, “This is serious now, we’re fucking doing it.” I was, like, “Oh my God, can I sit in the audience?” And everyone was, like, “What are you talking about? It’s a dress rehearsal.” And I was, like, “Yeah, but I want to see how it ends.” They were like, “What the fuck are you talking about? What the fuck are you talking about? You haven’t read the play?” And I’m like, “Why would I?”
JVN [00:08:26] Well, at least, I was thinking like, at least you didn’t get to like, like the first night and like there’s like about to be a funeral and you’re like celebrating. You’re, like, “I cannot wait. This is about to get so happy.” But it’s like, no.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:08:37] But I felt, like when I walked onto the stage and I had like a whole part where I sang. Like, I did all this stuff, it was just, like, totally foreign to me. And I was so comfortable. I enjoyed it so much. I just really, I loved it. And so I was, like, I’ll do really serious theater for the rest of my life. And, like, many years went by and I studied acting and stuff like that. And then no one ever hired me for anything except for comedy stuff. And I was, like, “Oh, I should, I should switch.”
JVN [00:09:05] Just, like, read the signs. Was that?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:09:06] Yeah. The universe sent me a sign.
JVN [00:09:09] Was that hard? Like, so were, were you in New York at that? Where did, where were you when you were auditioning?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:09:13] No, I was in Toronto.
JVN [00:09:14] So you’re still in Toronto and you’re auditioning for all the, like, like, very serious theater stuff.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:09:20] Serious.
JVN [00:09:20] And they were rejecting baby Samantha Bee or, like, 20s Samantha Bee?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:09:25] Yeah. They were, like, “Sorry.” Like there were, a lot of feedback, if I could even get in the door, you know? If I could even get an audition, which was pretty rare, I would go in and they’d be like that’s, “but this is a really serious show and you’re not taking it seriously.” And I was like, “I think I may be a bad actor. Everyone thinks I’m trying to make them laugh and I’m not. This is like, I’m trying hard.”
JVN [00:09:46] To be serious.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:09:47] I was acting my heart out. I’m really giving it. And then I had friends who, I actually did get touring. You end up doing all these touring shows, so I did this like touring show about like I think it was literally, like, so on the nose, it was called like “Coming Out of the Closet.” And it was, like, a show we would do in high schools to teach kids to, you know, like, accept themselves and just be open about their sexuality. And my friends who were in that show also had a sketch comedy troupe and I guess the woman in their show flamed out or was sick or something, they were like, “Can you replace her? You’ll be fine, trust me, you know how to do this.” And I was, like, “I’ll try it.” And then I did comedy and I was, like, “Oh, no, I should really do this. This is actually what I should do.”
JVN [00:10:36] That is so interesting.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:10:39] Yeah. The universe told me. I didn’t really tell the universe. Like, I didn’t, I didn’t, like, manipulate the will of the world.
JVN [00:10:46] But at least you listened.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:10:48] I did listen to it. I did. Well, it was impossible not to. The, the signs were all around. Truly.
JVN [00:10:55] So for me, like, I was, like, you know, very much obsessed with, like, it would be, like, figure skating, gymnastics, like, tie. And then, like, comedy was, like, you know, more like second, maybe third, depending on the year. So, like, I had, like, my icons. But I feel like I understood more about comedy as an adult and like, really Margaret Cho was my first love. And that’s because I shoplifted “Notorious C.H.O.” from Blockbuster. And thank God they’re out of business now, so I think I can say it. But I did shoplift “Notorious C.H.O.” in, like, 2002 because my mom wouldn’t rent it for me. Because it was R. And so I just put it in my man bag at the time. It was my little, that’s what I called it. I had a man purse when I was like in eighth grade and I just put it right in there. And then I was obsessed. And so then from there it was, like, Janeane Garofalo and then Lisa Lampanelli. I had a very, like, I really loved a lot of cussy, edgy ladies in the eighth and ninth grade, and then after that.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:11:46] Yep.
JVN [00:11:46] It never went away. But so for you, like growing up, were you into comedy, like a little bit, but you just didn’t know that it was for you?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:11:50] I was.
JVN [00:11:52] So who were your people? Who were you like soups inspired by? Who’s your Margaret Cho? Like who were you obsessed with?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:11:56] I would say Catherine O’Hara is a really big one for me because SCTV is Canadian and I watched it like-.
JVN [00:12:04] Wait, Moira from “Schitt’s Creek?”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:12:06] Moira.
JVN [00:12:06] Like our Catherine O’Hara, who was, like, also the two-handed hugger in-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:12:08] No, she’s my Catherine O’Hara!
JVN [00:12:12] She’s the universe’s. She is more yours ’cause you’re Canadian. OK, fine. You can have. Yeah, I get it, ’cause you guys are both Canadian. OK, that’s fine.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:12:17] But it was, ’cause you growing up, I mean, I just watch so much tele-, I constantly watched television. Television was ev-, I just watched television constantly. So when I would eat dinner, I watched a certain type of programing and then post dinner was, like, a different type of programing. But during dinner every night, like, six o’clock, it was, like, SCTV and Carol Burnett. Or maybe it was Carol Burnett and then SCTV.
JVN [00:12:40] I love Carol Burnett.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:12:43] So it was back-to-back comedy and then a little bit of “I Love Lucy” in there for good measure. So I probably didn’t even, I would say most, and then “Golden Girls.”
JVN [00:12:54] Ah!
SAMANTHA BEE [00:12:54] Because I lived with, I lived with my grandmother for a long time so “Golden Girls” and “Maude” and like all those shows were just, like, my oxygen.
JVN [00:13:04] Now “Maude,” I have a question about this because, you know, you, this is “Getting Curious.” I’m going to let myself be curious.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:08] Sure. Be curious.
JVN [00:13:09] You know, obviously, I, I do, I did partially drop out of college because of the “Golden Girls,” because it used to be in the early 2000s, you could watch, like, six hours a day.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:18] Yeah.
JVN [00:13:19] On Lifetime. So then obviously I felt like as a devout “Golden Girls,” slash, “Golden Palace” fan, I felt like I should just, like when people would bring up “Maude” I’d be like, “Yeah, of course, I watched it all. I know it very well.” And-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:28] Yeah.
JVN [00:13:29] But really like, I liked Mary Tyler Moore. I loved “I Love Lucy.”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:33] Yeah.
JVN [00:13:34] I love “Golden Girls,” but I really don’t know “Maude.” And it turns out Blanche and Dorothy knew each other, right? On “Maude.”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:39] I think so.
JVN [00:13:40] Weren’t they friends on “Maude?” Did you watch “Maude?” What’s, can you just give us, like, a quick, like, 20 second recap? Basically, Dorothy is-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:46] No, because I don’t remember.
JVN [00:13:47] You don’t remember it?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:48] I can’t remember it.
JVN [00:13:49] Yeah, no one knows! What was the deal with “Maude?”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:51] No one knows.
JVN [00:13:52] I’m dying to know about this “Maude.” I need to binge it. Can we get it on Hulu?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:13:55] That’s a good idea.
JVN [00:13:56] I need to watch Blanche and Dorothy from the 70s? 60s?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:14:00] “Maude” was an edgy show. “Maude” was, like, an edgy show, I would say. I betcha it holds up today but I don’t, I can’t say that factually. I just loved, I remember when Bea Arthur died, I cried.
JVN [00:14:11] Oh hard.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:14:13] So hard.
JVN [00:14:14] Never been the same.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:14:15] I’m just not that person who, I know a lot of people. I know, especially in comedy, people are, can go back in their minds and remember specific, everything. Like, they just remember lines from things and they remember plot points. And I don’t remember anything from any show.
JVN [00:14:30] Do you remember what Maude did? Like was she a newspaper lady?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:14:34] She was just a feminist.
JVN [00:14:35] I love that.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:14:36] All I remember was she was a feminist and she had an abortion at some point. So like-.
JVN [00:14:40] Do you remember in “Golden Girls” when she got fibromyalgia before we knew what fibromyalgia was, and all the doctors, like, didn’t believe her?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:14:46] I don’t! And I watched every single episode. I have “Golden Girls” coasters.
JVN [00:14:50] Yeah. She got fibromyalgia, but they didn’t have the name for it yet in the early 90s. She had, like, this chronic pain, and she was going to these doctors and then this fucking doctor dismissed her and tried to make her feel like her pain wasn’t real. And then she was like, “You fuckin’ gaslit me.” Like, I’m paraphrasing, but yeah. So I love your comedic inspirations.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:15:09] They’re all good. Yeah. They’re all solid. It’s more, like, it’s not even like I don’t try to model myself after those people or anything. It’s just that I do get asked the question a lot. Like what would ever make you think you could do comedy. Like why do you? And I was like I don’t know, ’cause like all I watched was, was women doing comedy. That’s what I watched.
JVN [00:15:28] So why wouldn’t I think I could?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:15:30] Why wouldn’t I think that? When the opportunity came to pass, it was just sort of in my DNA that I always, that I could name ten great women who were comedians who I watched routinely. And it wasn’t even, like, it was on purpose. Someone going, “Now watch the women of comedy.” It just was what was on television, and I totally consumed it. Loved it.
JVN [00:15:50] Well, I’m obsessed with that. And I also feel like, yeah. I mean, for me, I would never, like, dare to presume to ask, like, the fucking great Samantha Bee, like what make her think she could do comedy because obviously, you’re you. And what is wrong with people asking you that? Like, were, who asks you that? Get out of here, journalists.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:16:05] No, not so much. I mean, like that’s. I mean, that, actually that question is kind of gone, has gone to rest now, but right around the time-.
JVN [00:16:12] But in the day.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:16:13] But in the day, like and Christopher Hitchens, like, all around that kind of era, that was like, “Woman aren’t funny. Women can’t make jokes.” And so you were just constantly in comedy deflecting the question of, like, “Can women be even funny?” But we’ve kind of, I think we’ve put that to bed now that Donald Trump has been around for four years.
JVN [00:16:32] Oh, of course.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:16:33] No one has time for that question anymore.
JVN [00:16:35] Yeah, been there, done that.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:16:36] I’m mean, please.
JVN [00:16:36] Yes, of course. But I think, I mean, I was very convinced of women’s hilarity way back in Bush One’s administration, like, as a four and five year old. Like I’m pretty sure I’ve been on like the women are hilarious train for as long as I’ve been verbal. Like, I just always thought that, and I just was more curious about like, you know, who your inspirations were and I feel like I understand that. And we are going to take a really quick break. We’re going to do some gorgeous messages. Maybe it’ll be me reading in a British accent. Maybe it’ll be me falling out of a fucking closet because that’s where I record these ads. And it’s not really, also behind-the-scenes, I’m not really recording them right now, listeners. Really. These ads were from some other time of me in a closet. We’ll be right back with more Samantha Bee after this. Welcome back to “Getting Curious,” this is Jonathan Van Ness. So we were just catching up with Samantha Bee about her comedic inspirations, which are all really, really good ones. And so, you can’t help it. It’s the truth.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:17:33] Mmhmm, yep.
JVN [00:17:33] So then, you’re, so your friend invites you to get into sketch comedy. Then you’re like, “Oh my God, I’ve been bitten by the bug.”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:17:41] Yes.
JVN [00:17:41] Like I already knew I wanted to be a performer from this, but the theatrics isn’t really my, my path is going to be comedy. So then, like, what was auditioning for “The Daily Show” like? Was it a thing? Were you, like, nervy? Was? Do you feel like that was your big, like?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:17:56] That was it. Yeah, for sure. That was the, I mean, I did sketch comedy for years. I was in an all-female sketch troupe called “The Atomic Fireballs.” And we worked and worked and worked, and we, like, put up our own shows and it was, like, super DIY. We just did shows all the time. We performed a lot. But then “The Daily Show” came to town and they were doing auditions there. And it was my favorite show. Like, I watched it really religiously, like, when I got married to my husband in 2001, we, we actually bought a small house and we had, like, a special, we didn’t really watch all that much TV, but we had like a TV set aside, and every night at 11 o’clock we would go together and hold hands and watch “The Daily Show.”
JVN [00:18:36] Aw.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:18:36] Whatever. And so I knew it really, really well. So when I auditioned for it, it was with all these other women because they were looking for a woman and I just knew it really well. It was just in, the tone of it, the, the voice of the show. It was just something that I understood just really deeply from being a viewer for so long. And the point of view was very, like, accurate to how I felt about things. So it was a super good fit, and they ended up hiring me after a long process, but it was incredible. That’s when I moved to New York. That’s when I moved to the States.
JVN [00:19:10] And then, it was a process, just like, just all the auditions, all the heartburn and all the nerve.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:19:15] A lot of nerve. Like, a lot of, yeah, for sure. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t like a constant, it was only two, it was two auditions, the first one in Toronto, the second one with Jon in the studio in New York. And so that was, it was, like, very terrifying.
JVN [00:19:29] Did you have to meet the other finalists?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:19:31] No, I didn’t know that, I didn’t know what was going. I kept it so, in my brain, I kept it so small. I just didn’t think about anybody else. I didn’t think I would get the job. For one thing, I didn’t invest other than I was like, “I will do the best job I’ve ever done in my life for this. Like I will put it, I’m going to train for this. Like it’s the Olympics.” Like, I literally put myself on a regimen of eating brain foods. I was, like, to eat salmon. Like, tonight I’m having, like I was, it was like my religion for the week leading up to the first audition. And then for the callback as well. ‘Cause I was like, I need to be, like faculties intact, go for a run, get it all out. Like, do everything. Be a yogi for, just like push out the outside world. And I did do that. I absolutely did do that.
And I made a really smart decision, actually, because they were very cheap and they weren’t like, let’s fly you into town to do an audition and then we’ll put you up in a hotel. They were like, fly in, do it, and fly out. And I was like, “No, I will put myself up and I’m going to go see a taping of the show the night before so that I have an advantage and I know what the studio looks like so I can picture what it’s going to be like for me the next day.” So I did all this extra stuff and I ended up getting the job. Just because I was sort of less, probably less nervous than everybody else because I worked it all out.
JVN [00:20:58] OK.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:20:58] I was sweating my balls off, it was terrifying.
JVN [00:21:03] I, just so you know, viewers, I, my mouth has been aghast at that story when you said, that’s smart. That is, like, taking your charge of your own destiny, like, not being, like victim to, like, the circumstances. Like, “No, no, no. I’m going to do what’s going to work for me better,” and, like, setting yourself up for more success, which is, like, really good advocating for yourself and, like, that literal decision, like, maybe changed the trajectory of, that’s so-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:21:29] I think it did.
JVN [00:21:29] That’s such smart research to go in there, and, like, to calm your nervous system and also to like even further understand the tone of the show, like, maybe see, like, some of the other players who you would potentially need to like, see how they work. Like, the producers and, like, the show runner or something.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:21:43] Yeah, like I just wanted to even just to know what temperature the room would be. Like I just wanted to see it to kind of, because you know, like, when you go see a live taping of something where you go into someone’s studio space, it’s always either so much smaller than you think it’s going to be or it’s much larger than you think, or the layout is weird. I just like to know. I just like to know what the physical space is. I don’t really care about too many other things. It’s, for me, very spatial. Like, where’s my back, where’s my front? How big is this place? What do I have to fill? You know what I mean? So-.
JVN [00:22:15] Yeah.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:22:16] Actually just being there dispelled a lot of the surprise. It just took that element of surprise out of the equation. ‘Cause I understood where I was going to sit. I understood just the physical, the physical aspect of it. It really demystified it, which was good. Smart.
JVN [00:22:33] So, yes. Also, I just realized, like literally this far into our, like this far in, I, the whole trajectory of, like, what I was going to ask. Like I completely forgot. I freaked out. I got, like, too bamboozled with how much I like you and then, like, forgot about, like, where we were. So that’s, that’s OK. But we’re, we’re still nailing it. So-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:22:49] We’re nailing it, this is going good. I’m enjoying myself.
JVN [00:22:51] No, we still are nailing it. I just think it’s, like, lull that I accidentally took like such, like, now that I just looked down to my notes for the first time this whole time and I was warning you about before if I’m looking down a lot. I haven’t been on them really at all. And I’ve looked so much. So yes. So when you think about, like, that you got, you land this job, which is like two callbacks, you do it, you get it.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:23:13] Mmhmm.
JVN [00:23:13] And then it’s, like, kind of all this time of, like, doing your sketch comedy and performing live.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:23:18] Right.
JVN [00:23:19] And all of your experiences, like lead you up to, like, this chance. And I think I can probably, I, like identify with some of those moments of like, you know, not knowing, like, if you’re, if it’s going to work. So it’s, like, looking back on your time there and how nervous you were to get the job. And then I’m sure, like through that first year of, like, trying to figure out, like, is it going to be permanent?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:24:41] Yes.
JVN [00:24:41] Like, is this, is this, is this new life going to be my reality?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:24:44] Yes.
JVN [00:24:44] So how, did, did the way that you approach your jokes and your stories in “The Daily Show” change in the time that you were there? And did the things that made you laugh and the things that you, and the information that you wanted to disseminate in a funny and informative way, did those types of things that you wanted to share change in your 12 years there?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:24:07] For sure.
JVN [00:24:07] Because you, because you got the job in 2001. ’02? ’01?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:24:14] No, it was, when I finally got the job, it was 2003.
JVN [00:24:17] ’03.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:24:18] 2003. Yeah.
JVN [00:24:18] So from to ’03 to ’15?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:24:59] Yeah. ’03 to ’15. Yeah.
JVN [00:24:23] So that’s like a really pivotal time.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:24:25] I, definitely, the things that we, but the show, you know, like I evolved, but also the show. I think the first two years that I spent there were, I was just, like, lost in trying to figure out who I was on the show and trying to figure out going from zero, I was like going from really zero to 100. Like, no one knew who I was and suddenly, you know, there was message boards about either I really like her or I think she’s piece of shit like, getting that comfortable with just having a job that’s very high profile takes a, it takes a while. Like it, it takes, it took me while. I can’t speak for others, but for me it was, it was a really steep learning curve. So just getting comfortable in New York, like suddenly living in New York, suddenly having a high profile job was its own, like its own very specific bunch of stuff to deal with. And then the show, but the show itself also evolved like, you know, Jon, as the editorial voice of the show. His point of view grew and his point of view expanded, and along with his point of view expanding, all of us came along. So we were all there to really execute his ideas, or ideas that he likes, that we could fill out the show with, you know what I mean? So-.
JVN [00:25:43] Yeah.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:25:43] As, when I really started, it was just jokes. Like our job was just dumb stuff, we’d go out in the fields, like, here’s a crazy character, let’s be stupid. Occasionally you got a chance to make a great point. Each, you know, each small piece had, had a point to make, but that really grew over the course of the show, over the course of like the, as the influence of the show grew, during the Bush administration, when things felt really, when things were dire, when we were in a war that nobody wanted to be in, like, that whole period of time is really when the point of view of the show just kind of blossomed. And I think that we blossomed with it. And so for sure, I think the stories that we ended up doing got more and more and more representative of our own personal points of view and more representative of the direction that we want to take things. And then getting my own show on top of that was just a further, than it was just, like, full on. OK, well, then here’s my point of view. Now it’s mine. Now it’s my show and now it’s my opportunity to talk about the things that I want to talk about on this show, in a new world.
JVN [00:26:53] Which I love.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:26:54] And there’s, like, no, and also, Twitter didn’t exist when the show started, you know, when I started at the show. Like, so much of this kind of the social media around, that is built around shows. It really just didn’t exist then. Either. That has grown. So the influence of shows is different. And the way that you’re putting information out into the world is totally different. And all of that has really exploded as well. It’s very different now.
JVN [00:27:21] Do you? What are the biggest benefits to the ways in which social media has changed how you, someone like you is able to make a show and what are like the biggest detriments?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:27:32] I think it makes, well, for one thing, I think just more people have access to more information, which is not, which is a very good thing. Which is a very, very good thing. I think it’s like, it’s a very democratic process now, I think if you want to be a performer, too. If you have material that you want to show people, you can, there are so many opportunities for you to do that and build your own career and build your own persona in, in that realm. So that is all great. Right? And the, the flip side, I guess, is that Twitter is a hell site where you want to tear your eyes out. And you, like, you have to be very, you have to be careful with yourself. You have to be protective of yourself. Within social media-.
JVN [00:28:20] That’s what I was curious about too. Like for that, like, I guess, like for the performer, because obviously, like, I, I don’t think I was, and, well, like and for you coming on in 2003, it’s not like you are coming on to like a little show. Like, you were coming on to one of the most popular night shows, nighttime television shows around.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:28:38] Right.
JVN [00:28:38] And it continued to be.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:28:39] Yes.
JVN [00:28:41] Really until, like as long as Jon was on, and it still is, I mean Trevor Noah’s amazing. But I mean, you came into like, you probably really did go from like zero to 100. That’s such a good way to put it. And the pressure and the platform and even just, like, the change to your daily life, because you are like going to be, it’s, I kind of compare it to, like, in junior high when, if you got made fun of a lot, which yes. It’s like you know when you walk into a room, like when everyone’s looking at you and talking about you and now it’s like that, but it’s more positive than negative, which is nice. But you can still feel like just people looking and it just feels, like, it’s an unsettling feeling when you’re not used to it and you have to get comfortable with it because it’s part of the job, which is-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:29:24] Yes, you have to get comfortable with people talking about you and you knowing it. It’s just weird. It is hard. It’s actually really hard. I found it to be very difficult. Like I’m good with it now. I’m fine with it now because I don’t read anything. Whereas like at the beginning, I read everything. I really, I thought that I was supposed to or I thought that I had to like in order to be a participant in show business. Like, I thought that it was part of my job to, like, know what people were saying. But ultimately, you learn over time that you also have to protect your life and your heart. Like, you’re a human person. You’re a human being, you know? And so you do have to, there has to be a separation between the you you and the person that you are projecting, a little bit, out in the world. And they can be very similar. They can be very aligned, but there is separation and you have to be vigilant about keeping those things separate. I think. Like, for me, I do.
JVN [00:30:21] Yeah. Note to self. So.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:30:24] Right.
JVN [00:30:25] So, and also, like, really a lot of what I, what I meant to ask you about at the beginning, and then I just got so taken with you, I can’t help it. Is, like, how do, ’cause, like, I wanted to talk about political comedy and how, and when I say like, “Can comedy save us all? Like can it save us from this political hellscape?” And obviously, I think we said very quickly, no, it can’t. But the ways in which we process some of this stuff can actually help bring awareness, greater understanding, greater empathy, compassion, all sorts of things.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:30:53] Yeah.
JVN [00:30:54] But you can utilize comedy in all sorts of like, you know, like, a little like mean and catty ways, but like in amazing, like to the people who deserve it so that we can raise the awareness.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:31:02] Sure. It’s, like, we can’t, like, comedy isn’t going to save us, but we can save each other. Like we have an opportunity to save each other coming up. Building communities is what ultimately I think saves us all. Like, building that kind of, like, building communities with people who are like minded and like getting everybody activated. And comedy is a good tool for that. It’s a very good delivery system for, for, for information that’s important. It’s just, it’s great on its own. It’s great. I love comedy, my God. But it’s also an effective delivery system.
JVN [00:31:37] So, and I mean, I think Jon Stewart really did kind of change that and created, like, a moment for comedians to be able to do that more than maybe classically they would have, which is really, like, amazing. And then when I think about, like the last four years of this administration and also it’s, like, because you became a dual citizen in 2014, so does that mean like that’s when, I think this is right. Like, that’s when you been able to vote since, right?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:32:03] Yeah, yeah.
JVN [00:32:04] Yes, yes, yes. So second presidential election, second presidential election for Samantha Bee.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:32:08] Yes!
JVN [00:32:09] I’m sure you’re not going to go for Trump again this time, I’m just kidding. Full joke, full joke. Was that hilarious?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:32:13] Well, I don’t think I made up my mind yet. I’m still undecided. Let’s see.
JVN [00:32:16] Are you one of those undecided voters? OK, well, you know, I was reading about those people yesterday.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:32:20] Great.
JVN [00:32:20] So, no, I was. Because it’s like, who is that? Like this elusive undecided, like is there really someone who’s undecided still? So, but maybe there is. But when I think about the last four years, and obviously, I spent a lot of time thinking like about how badly in 2016 I wished to have a platform that was more influential, and now I have one and that’s, you know, that’s been, these last three, four years had been such a transformative and like hugely different time for me personally and professionally. For you, you were already, like, slaying the game, honey, like, a gajillion time, like, you know, most decorated, like, you are already you in 2016. So but what were some of the things like, like in the last four years, what were some of the things in, in political comedy, comedic sphere, that were like the most iconic or important ones in the last four years? The one that came to my mind just in terms of like, well, like one of the first ones of that era.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:33:16] Yeah.
JVN [00:33:16] Of the, you know, 2016 right after the election was Kate McKinnon doing “Hallelujah” on SNL.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:32:21] Right.
JVN [00:32:23] And that felt like a very pivotal moment in comedy and politics. It was like, “Oh, my God, strap your fuckin’ selves in, like we aren’t going to be seeing Hillary anymore. Like it is fucking Alec Baldwin.” And also Alec Baldwin as Trump has been also pretty amaze.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:33:41] Yeah. And, like, having the correspondents dinner with Michelle Wolf.
JVN [00:33:46] Yes.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:33:46] That was a really big moment. And I think we still feel the reverberations from that really, because there’s so much sympathy. Like, there’s so much sympathy out in the world for Sarah Huckabee Sanders and it’s very, she occupies this really unique territory in people’s minds because it’s very hard to know-.
JVN [00:34:05] Is there? Sympathy for her? Did you guys learn more about that on your show than I-?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:34:07] No, no. I mean, what I mean is she continues to be taken very seriously, like there are huge, like, sections of the country who are like, we’re gonna make her the governor and she’s gonna be great. And I’m like, she’s terrible. I don’t understand. But, you know, like, that moment really crystallized it. Like it just was very, it was very divisive. But now she’ll probably be the, she’ll probably be the governor.
JVN [00:34:34] Of Arkansas?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:34:35] Yeah.
JVN [00:34:35] Like, wasn’t her dad the governor of Arkansas?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:34:37] Yeah.
JVN [00:34:39] So what about for your show?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:34:40] Look, my face is like so, it’s just, like, so cringey. It’s all cringed, as I say that.
JVN [00:34:46] Did you, like, mean, because I can’t see you. Like is your video off on purpose?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:34:51] It’s off? Oh, I thought I had it on. No.
JVN [00:34:55] I just thought like maybe she doesn’t want me to see her.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:34:56] No, that’s me doing my own technical stuff. Hold on. Oops. Whoops. Oh shit. Sorry.
JVN [00:35:01] Oh my God, hi! I’ve never seen you until now. I was just going with it, I wanted to respect your boundaries and stuff.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:07] Oh my God. I’m so sorry.
JVN [00:35:10] I didn’t know, hi!
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:11] Hi!
JVN [00:35:12] Oh my God. We have to keep this just like this, because, so basically everyone, since we are remote. Like, I, like, always like recording these like on Zoom, but then we just use the audio. But I haven’t been able to see Sam because I thought maybe she was, like, “I’m not trying to see you today or whatever.”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:25] No.
JVN [00:35:26] But you are just so fucking gorgeous. Get out of my face. Go back, turn the video back off. I can’t focus, your fucking gorgeous. I’m just kidding, don’t turn the video off.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:32] I totally. Oh, my God, I thought I had it on the whole time.
JVN [00:35:34] I love your snatched pony.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:36] Oh, it’s super snatch because, you know-.
JVN [00:35:39] It’s so high.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:40] It’s very high. It’s a very high pony today. It’s very high and tight and it hurts. But I’m leaving it. Because I like it.
JVN [00:35:46] But that’s why you look great. I mean I love when I snatch my pony back. Men, yeah.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:48] It’s giving me a full lift.
JVN [00:35:54] Yeah. Yeah, I love that. OK, so, but what about for your show? What is has been like your, what was in the last four years? I know it’s going to be really difficult.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:35:59] It is, ‘cause I-.
JVN [00:36:00] And it doesn’t have to be, and it doesn’t have to be the segment I participated in. It doesn’t have to be the segment I participated in. It doesn’t.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:36:05] Well, first of all, having you on the show was incredible.
JVN [00:36:08] I know, it was, it was like really, I couldn’t believe it. It was like a moment, major moment.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:36:12] Well, I’m very proud of a lot of the show. And also I have, as I mentioned before, a very bad memory. And I can’t ever remember specific things. But what has been meaningful to me has been, I think, like, being able to do a show after Hillary lost, that was very meaningful to me. Then we did, we’ve done, we’ve done full episodes that really had incredible, charitable components to them that I’m very proud of. We did a special on ICE. We did an entire Christmas special on ICE and helped a very worthy charity in a huge way. That was, I’m very proud of that. I’m proud of all those efforts that we’ve made. I’m proud of. I’m proud of the specials we’ve done. I just really really love this show. Like I, actually, am so bad at thinking of specific things. There’s a list of many things that I could tell you, but I only know what’s happening next week, and I’ve completely forgotten what happened last week.
JVN [00:37:13] Well, that’s probably a really good lesson in staying very present and like giving everything that you can to what’s in front of you and not, that is really important in comedy. But I also just say, for me, in such an earnest way as a consumer of your content and a consumer of comedy and television for like decades as well, and I think that something that has been so missing from so much TV is an ability to make like the idea of context and knowledge sexy and, like, fun and engaging. And you do that. And you do that-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:37:43] Thank you.
JVN [00:37:44] Yes, so I think that’s really important. And I just, you know, that I think that just very important for you to hear if you, like, don’t hear it enough. We’re going to take a really quick break, and we’ll be right back with more “Getting Curious” after this. Welcome back to “Getting Curious.” This is Jonathan Van Ness. We have Samantha Bee, both of our videos are on and we are virtually connected, honeys. So one thing that we’ve mentioned a few times, we haven’t gotten to get into it as much yet, but I would really love to chat about it. Is, you know, you became a dual citizen in 2014. We are about to go into a little bit of an election. I’m curious about, not necessarily the election.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:38:28] OK.
JVN [00:38:29] I’m just kind of curious about, like, your observations for how we can all be more like Samantha Bee.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:38:35] Oh, gosh, oh no. Uh oh.
JVN [00:38:37] Well, you have a different perspective because you’re Canadian American. There is-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:38:41] True.
JVN [00:38:41] And I do think that Canadians, like, I can’t put my finger on it. There is a je ne sais quoi that is a little bit, you know, different. I just feel like it’s, I can’t tell what it, you know, y’all are just Canadian and it’s different than American.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:38:55] Right.
JVN [00:38:55] Literally, like, the universal health care. You know?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:38:59] Well, I will say this. I do, like when I try to define what is the difference, because there aren’t that many differences. But culturally, to me, the health, the health care is the greatest, is the biggest difference because it’s not even, like, it’s always amazing to Canadians, if I may, what Americans will tolerate from their government. We’re like, “Wait. You don’t get health care and you put up with that shit? Like we have that. And why wouldn’t you want that?” Like the Amer-, it’s amazing to Canadians that there would be a single human being in America who does not think that they want universal health care. It makes such an immense difference in your life. And it’s, like, I think of it as, like, just a huge, heavy, invisible backpack that Americans have to wear at all times. Like, there’s always this, like looming threat of some terrible of a bankruptcy because you can’t pay your medical bills. Like everyone’s just carrying this extra weight.
Like, everyone has to work a little bit harder. You have to really worry about something that the average Canadian simply doesn’t have to worry about. Like in Can-, I’m not saying that, well, the Canadian health care system is better, it’s just better. You don’t, you don’t walk around the streets thinking, “Oh, if I get cancer, I might lose my house.” You can actually focus on your health. Like you can think about your health as opposed to, like, “Oh, boy, I hope one of us doesn’t break a bone while on vacation, because if we have to get like a chopper to hospital, that’s like 30,000 dollars.” You know what I mean? Like that’s-.
JVN [00:40:44] People, I think so many people don’t think about that in America, which is, and then, like, you know, sometimes awful things happen and other times things don’t. And it’s like until it happens to you or like someone in your, like, direct circles, like, a lot of folks just don’t-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:40:58] Right. It’s incredible.
JVN [00:41:00] It’s kind of, it’s kind of like if you’re OK, like, it’s, like there is, like, a sense of, like, “Well, my boat’s not sinking, so I’m not going to help you and yours.”
SAMANTHA BEE [00:41:08] Right.
JVN [00:41:08] And I do think that that is, that is a pretty-. But it’s also not just health care.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:41:12] Yeah. But then when I look at, when I, because I live here now. My children are American, I am American. Like, you know? But there’s, Americans are the most generous people. Like, at the same time, like, at the same time you go, you know, half the country or whatever, a third of the country doesn’t want universal health care or whatever the numbers are. And then, but then they’re like having fundraisers and paying for people’s surgeries. Like there’s this weird, it’s just this weird dichotomy.
JVN [00:41:44] ‘Cause it’s the government. It’s because like those people don’t, because they don’t want the government telling them what to do. There’s such this idea that, like, the government shouldn’t be telling, and that’s like such like an American thing, which is like a nightmare.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:41:55] It’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare.
JVN [00:41:56] It’s like, it’s a thing. But then, there’s also not just that, though, about, like, why, you know, Canada is so much cuter hour. It’s also the gun laws, better. Canada better.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:42:05] Yes.
JVN [00:42:05] Much less guns.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:42:06] Better.
JVN [00:42:06] Much less gun violence, like, much, you know, less readily available, gigantic, multifaceted gun shops.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:42:11] For sure.
JVN [00:42:12] Year. Like it’s more like for hunting moose and bears and stuff, like just less gun violence on the whole. You know, which is, like, another thing, but it’s like you been a, you are Canadian American, you know, brought up in Canada, but you lived here for a long time.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:42:26] Mmhmm.
JVN [00:42:26] So, and then also you have been on television as, like, a widely recognizable face now for, you know, however, since 2003. So I guess I’m just curious about, like, whether or not 45 wins or loses, like, whatever were going to be up against, as, you know, as we are ushering into the great beyond. I think you had, I feel like you had like a very interesting vantage point on that.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:42:56] Yes.
JVN [00:42:58] It seems like things are really a lot closer to absolutely fucking falling apart? Like the car is driving down the road and it feels like the axles are going to fall off the wheel. Like, I feel like we’re about to have, like, a explosion in our car. Or have we actually been in a car that was about to explode, like, since 2003?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:43:14] I think it’s getting worse. I do think it’s getting worse. For sure. I do think it’s getting worse. I mean, I’m sorry. That’s not super, maybe that’s not optimistic. I don’t mean to be a downer about it. Like, I do think that it has gotten a lot worse. I feel like a lot of, I think people’s awareness has gotten better and people are more, more attuned to what’s happening in the world. And that’s very important. And that needs to continue, even if, even if Joe Biden wins. That kind of, like, electric awareness of what’s going on in the world and what needs to change is going to have to remain constant. Like, if Joe Biden wins, everybody can take like a day or two off of, but there’s a lot to do to actually, like, repair everything and make it better than it was before. Like, to advance the cause of all the things that need to change that’s so much, there’s a lot of work ahead. If he wins again, then I don’t even know what to tell you. Then I don’t, I don’t really have any, I don’t have the solution for that.
JVN [00:44:16] Is there, is there, is there anything that you and your team are watching for if he does win? Like-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:44:25] If Donald Trump wins again?
JVN [00:44:26] Yeah. Or if he doesn’t like either way, like, is there just any? I mean, for me, I was just thinking when you, just when you said that was like, you know, if he was, like, we maybe can take a day or two off, but then I’m thinking like, well, now fucking Amy Barrett Coney, fuck her name is. Magenta Pantsuit Lady. Like, what are we going to do about her? Because she seems like she’s going to get confirmed.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:44:44] I shouldn’t say take two days off, take like twelve hours.
JVN [00:44:47] Yeah. Just like three hours to celebrate.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:44:49] Take a bath.
JVN [00:44:50] Yeah, just get, like, blackout.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:44:50] Just go take a bath.
JVN [00:44:50] Get blackout or take a bath. Either one, whatever feels better for you. And then we’ll wake up on November 4th.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:44:56] Sure.
JVN [00:44:57] And we’ll be ready to party. But, but it’s, like, I even was thinking about, like, and we’ve mentioned that on this podcast before. And I’ve read other people, you know, read other people’s thoughts on this, heard other people’s thoughts on this. But it’s, like, even if he does win, it’s like he’s going to be inheriting such a poor situation, like, whether it’s like the disbanding of the HIV AIDS Advisory Council in 2017, like, gotta get that back together. The constant attack on Planned Parenthood, like, those repercussions are going through it, like the Census that they shut down early, like, there’s so many different things that are going to have to kind of, like, the State Department is still in shambles, like he’s been in the fuckin’, and in the president for four years and, like, we still don’t have ambassadors to, like, a bunch of stuff. But, you know, what we do have? More Republican ideologic like crazy rabid Christian conservative judges than we know what to fuckin’ do it. So it’s like we do like a lot of stuff. So I guess it’s like, and I-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:45:45] I don’t think he’s building. OK, I guess, you know, as part of Joe Biden’s job right now, which we aren’t really, no one’s really talking about, because it’s all a kind of, it’s, like, building the team that he would put in place on day one or day two, because like all of those people need to hit the ground running in their jobs. There just must be so many. I’m just praying, just hoping to God or whatever that, like, there’s a team of people who are poised, who have, like, their laptops in a bag and they got, like, a packed lunch and they’re ready to, like, hit their desks in the White House and start putting those things back together right away. Right away. Right away. Right away. How do we wait a day, there’s so much to do.
JVN [00:46:30] I have the faith in their team. What I am more scared of is, like, will they get elected? And that’s more of what I’m thinking.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:46:36] Very scary. And listen, I don’t wanna talk about voting anymore. I want to, for Joe Biden to win. I don’t want to talk about voting for, like, at least another, I need a break from saying the word “vote,” but you really can’t totally-.
JVN [00:46:50] Yeah, we’re going to have a midterm like in two years.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:46:52] I know.
JVN [00:46:53] Yeah. It will be in no time.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:46:54] You can’t, in six months. Can I just, like, not say the word “vote” for six months? Please. I need to stop.
JVN [00:47:00] You know where you might not be able to? Because I was just reading if John Ossoff or that, or Kelly what’s-her-face in Georgia.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:47:08] Yes.
JVN [00:47:09] If one of them doesn’t get 50 percent of the vote.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:47:11] Right.
JVN [00:47:11] Like they’ll have to run again in January. Which I was like, “Oh my God, what a nightmare.” Like, to have to, like, can you imagine having to just jump, it gets extended. I know, what a nightmare. So we don’t want to do any plot spoilers, plot twists ’cause you’re obviously working on a show and I know that you also mentioned memory several times, like you wouldn’t fucking remember what’s going on in four weeks anyway because you’re fucking busy and you’re a producer and a host, you got shit to do. But over like house, you know, Samantha Bee’s, slash, “Full Frontal,” like, what are the news stories you’re watching? What is your team keeping an eye out for? Like, you know, not to give away what you’re working on for your coming season, but is there anything in your person or liking in your team, where, like, you know what you want to keep an eye out for, is that Virginia House election in 2021? I don’t know. Just like some random other thing.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:48:53] Right. I do think that, like, I do think that our minds are all, like, we’re all really excited to, like, not do shows about the election too. But there’s so much, there’s so much Covid stuff that we still haven’t talked about. Like we haven’t talked about evictions. And those are all coming, like, all of those, like, economic losses are something that we’re going to probably end up focusing on after the election, no matter the outcome, because none of that stuff, like we haven’t, not really, we haven’t really faced what’s about to happen or the cataclysm that’s about to happen. And so that’s what we’re all kind of thinking about right now leading into the holidays. Hurray!
JVN [00:48:35] Celebrate!
SAMANTHA BEE [00:48:35] Yeah.
JVN [00:48:37] Well, we’ve come to the point in the podcast where it’s, like it’s yogini recess.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:48:41] I like hip openers.
JVN [00:48:43] Do you love pigeon? You’re a double pigeon person?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:48:45] I am, because my hips are just, like, I sometimes, sometimes if I do a pigeon stretch, I get, like, an, like, ecstasy through my whole body. Because, like, my hips are like, “What is this? Opening? What?”
JVN [00:49:01] I do love a good hip opener. They say our relationships are stored in our hips.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:49:05] What?
JVN [00:49:06] So sometimes, yeah, so sometimes when people stretch their hips they just start, like, sobbing because it, like, brings up everything again.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:49:10] I get it. And also it hurts.
JVN [00:49:12] Is there anything that you wanted to chat about that we just didn’t get to? Do you feel? Is there anything we, you would just be remiss if you didn’t share?
SAMANTHA BEE [00:49:19] I don’t think so. I feel like you took me on a great journey. I was just here for the journey. I didn’t bring any expectations to this conversation other than I love talking to you. And I was just here for, like, lively conversation, which I feel that we achieved.
JVN [00:49:36] We did. I feel like you are such a good copilot for a lively conversation.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:49:39] But I do regret not turning my camera on. And that is the consequence of me having to do a lot of my own tech stuff. There’s always one thing that I get wrong.
JVN [00:49:48] When you get so much right. When you get so much right. How dare you, literally, have the audacity to try to apologize to me at the end of this moment when we’ve been co piloting and-.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:50:00] Doing very well. Very well.
JVN [00:50:02] Doing so well.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:50:04] Two gold stars. Gold Star. Gold Star. Right here.
JVN [00:50:08] Yes. We can’t help it. Samantha Bee, thank you so much for coming on today.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:50:10] Thank you.
JVN [00:50:11] I just love you so much and keep up the good work and we’ll be staying watching.
SAMANTHA BEE [00:50:14] Thank you. Bye!
JVN [00:50:18] You’ve been listening to Getting Curious with me, Jonathan Van Ness. My guest this week was the comedian, writer, and producer Samantha Bee. She’s the host and Executive Producer of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS and the podcast Full Release with Samantha Bee on Earwolf.
You’ll find links to her work in the episode description of whatever you’re listening to the show on.
Our theme music is “Freak” by Quiñ – thanks to her for letting us use it. If you enjoyed our show, introduce a friend – show them how to subscribe.
Follow us on Instagram & Twitter @CuriousWithJVN. Our socials are run and curated by Emily Bossak.
Our editor is Andrew Carson and our transcriptionist is Cassi Jerkins.
Getting Curious is produced by me, Erica Getto, Emily Bossak, Chelsea Jacobson, and Colin Anderson.
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