Samantha Bee is planning to go to the Women’s March on Washington. But it’s likely her “Full Frontal” cameras will not be.
“We have rented a bus for people who want to go and we’re just going,” Bee told CNN during a recent interview. “We’re not going to do anything there. We’re going because we as individuals want to go and just be there for it.”
Bee sees the march — a post-inauguration rally expected to draw up to 200,000 — as a “just a day [to be] a good citizen.”
The actual inauguration is another story: her correspondents will be on the ground — even though they didn’t score an official invite (“No surprise,” she said) or tickets (“also no surprise”).
One week out from the event, she admitted that more specific plans were still being worked out. But there’s a lot that the staff at “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” is having to figure out these days.
After the election, Bee said she was faced with questions about how her series would recalibrate after a jarring election that saw perceived frontrunner Hillary Clinton lose to Donald Trump.
“As we were all having a gradual realization about what was happening, I thought, ‘Okay, the show we thought we were going to be doing for the next four years isn’t the same. It’s now different. What does that mean?'” she said of her election night thoughts. “‘What is our voice going to be with this president-elect that none of us were really expecting?'”
Bee doesn’t think they’ve really answered that question yet — and she’s not sure they ever will.
“I think it’s just gradual,” she said. “That’s going to be part of the evolution of the show.”
She added: “You [can’t] draw a line and say, ‘This is our voice moving forward.’ … it’s something we’re trying to be thoughtful about.”
One thing that’s not in question is the show’s success. “Full Frontal” was recently renewed for a second season by TBS, it was nominated for an Emmy in its first season and averages 3.3 million viewers across platforms. (TBS and CNN share the same parent company, Time Warner.)
But the show’s accolades seemingly matters less to Bee than the content it produces. Nothing and no one is off limits.
Her most recent episode — the first of the new year — examined/eviscerated the idea of “white plight,” spelled out the facts on Trump attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, and criticized President Barack Obama’s deportation policies.
“We’re doing a show that is speaking to us. We’re doing a show that is coming from a real place for us,” she said. “We’re not making a show based on an algorithm of who we’re reaching or what our metrics are. We’re doing it from a pretty real place, which is the only way I’d really want to do a show.”
Bee’s passion for important issues extends beyond the screen as well. The show launched a campaign to sell “Nasty Woman” t-shirts to benefit the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project in Los Angeles County. More than 72,000 have been sold to date.
“I feel like it is kind of a special moment,” she said. “I feel like this could be a real moment for the country — for all of us.”
Bee has proven her ability to move and stir her audience into action, but she’s careful not to over state the show’s impact. Her goal, above all, is to be a sort of bringer of emotional release in what sometimes seems like a raging storm of political disagreement.
“We really are trying to provide a catharsis for ourselves first and foremost,” she said. ” And if it achieves that for other people, that’s incredibly gratifying.”