How does one write jokes about the Trump presidency?
At a For Your Consideration event held Tuesday at New York’s New World Stages, Rubens said the team often laments that they “can’t push this any further than it already is, but hopefully documenting the absurdity is enough.”
The group was also asked about their no-expletives-given coverage style and interviewing guests at last year’s Republican National Convention about Black Lives Matter. (Samantha Bee stressed that everyone they spoke with seemed like swell people who would bring you a casserole if you were ill.) The event also showed clips from the first two seasons. Bee visibly squirmed during clips from an October interview wherein former President Barack Obama offhandedly mentioned Hillary Clinton’s victory several times.
Correspondent Allana Harkin, a long-time friend of Bee, told Variety that, like many Americans, she has a hard time not checking her phone for the latest news at all times even though she gets more than her fill at work.
“With us, we have no choice,” she said, noting that she only ever takes a break when parental duties absolutely demand it. “When I’m not engaged with the news, it does feel like a complete vacation. I don’t need to go to the Caribbean anymore.”
And for the record, she’s not jealous that President Trump has yet to criticize her by name. “I don’t think that would work out well for me,” Bee laughed.
Though Bee is competing in a competitive field against the likes of Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, and “Saturday Night Live,” she said that her show has never had a problem standing out.
“I don’t see the show in contrast to other shows, we’re just guided by our own vision,” she said. “It comes from a very authentic place. That’s how we do it.”
As a thought experiment, Variety asked Bee a hypothetical question: Should Trump ever suspend the U.S. Constitution, banish the First Amendment and make it illegal to make fun of him, would she still show up to work? Without hesitation, Bee responded. “Yeah, totally,” she said, before adding, “It would be a minimum security prison, right?”