‘Daily Show’ Alum Samantha Bee ‘Quite Puzzled’ By Dearth of Women in Late-Night TV

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Review
Courtesy of TBS

There’s a stunning lack of diversity among late night hosts, but that’s about to change with the debut of “Full Frontal” on TBS, starring “Daily Show” alum Samantha Bee.

With one month until the Feb. 8 launch of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” Bee emphasized the importance of putting women into the late-night field, in a session with journalists Thursday at the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, Calif.

“I am never tired of that!” Bee exclaimed when a member of the press asked if she’s tired of answering the question about the lack of diversity. “It makes complete sense to me that it would be part of the conversation. There has just not been a wealth of women in late-night.”

Asked why there’s a shortage of female late-night hosts, Bee said, “I do not have any theories. We’re quite puzzled by it as well, but we’re happy to take up the mantle.”

Added executive producer Jo Miller, who was knitting a sweater during the panel, “I don’t know why Joan Rivers didn’t replace Johnny Carson.”

Bee explained that her show will include women’s issues as topical segments and discussions. “It’s not the only thing that’s going to be talked about on the show, but it’s a passion that we’ll end up delving into,” said Bee, whose husband, Jason Jones, was also at TCA to promote his comedy “The Detour.”

Bee promised she will continue to do field pieces like she had on the “Daily Show.” “That was work that I loved doing so much. I’m really passionate about it,” she said. to which Miller added, “She’s not going to be a lady behind a desk.”

However, don’t expect “Full Frontal” to completely mirror “The Daily Show.” While admitting “I think it’s natural that it would” feel similar, Bee said, “We’re definitely expanding that world.”

Some of those plans include the inclusion of stories on the rise of Islamophobia during election cycle, and a trip to Jordan, which will be featured at length in an episode, intended to be a “cultural orientation for Americans, in order to better receive the Syrian refugees who are coming ot this country,” she explained.

Bee said she wants to use her platform to showcase “absurd injustice,” but the series will without a doubt showcase her talent to make viewers laugh. “We want to take stories that don’t receive enough attention and stab them with a red hot poker of comedy.”

As for her intensive field pieces, Bee told the room of reporters, “I don’t at all feel like I’m a reporter, but I enjoy pretending like I am.”

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