×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

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.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Hailee SteinfeldTribeca TV Festival 2019 Presents

    Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus' 'Dickinson'

    Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.” “This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld [...]

  • Rachel Bloom

    Rachel Bloom Announces Pregnancy After Emmy Win

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom made a special announcement after winning her Emmy for best original music and lyrics — she is pregnant. Bloom announced the news backstage on Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. She joked she had planned to reveal the news on Instagram but that doing it at the Emmys was even [...]

  • EVIL is a psychological mystery that

    TV Review: 'Evil'

    In its pilot installment, CBS’s new drama “Evil” delves into that which may lie beyond the rationally explicable. And the show itself represents something almost supernatural by 2019 standards, too: A well-made hour fueled by chemistry between its leads and a strong idea of itself. On the basis of its debut outing, which screened at [...]

  • Emmy Awards Placeholder

    Creative Arts Emmys: 'Free Solo,' 'Queer Eye' Among Big Winners on Night 1 (Full List)

    “Free Solo,” “Queer Eye,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Saturday Night Live” were among the big winners Saturday after the first night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. “Free Solo,” the National Geographic feature documentary that already claimed the Oscar earlier this year, lead the field on the [...]

  • Gary Cole, Christina Anthony, Tika Sumpter,

    'Mixed-ish' Team on Why 'All Stories About "Others" Are Necessary'

    The producers and cast of “Mixed-ish” are not out to tell a singular black and white story — but one that showcases and celebrates all shades in between. “It’s important for me across the board in all of my work to talk about ‘otherness’ and identity and real, grounded characters,” showrunner Karin Gist told Variety [...]

  • Shane Gillis

    Comedians Condemn Shane Gillis Over Slurs

    “Saturday Night Live” showrunner Lorne Michaels has yet to comment on the racist and homophobic remarks made by newly hired cast member Shane Gillis, but comedians and actors are expressing their condemnation on social media, some even asking that he be fired from the show.  Footage of Gillis’s podcast, “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content