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Samantha Bee on Why Her Writers’ Office is the ‘Physical Expression’ of ‘Doing It All’

On any given day, Samantha Bee is juggling a lot between her TBS late-night series, “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” and her family. This often includes getting work done in the car on the way to picking up or dropping off her three young children. It also results in her Manhattan office being a bit “frenetic.” Although she considers it a “pretty” space, she doesn’t have the time to keep it neat and tidy. “Usually it’s a godforsaken mess with piles of stuff and shoes I haven’t put away and clothes laying over chairs,” she says. “You have to do it all, so my office is the physical expression of that.”

Samantha Bee Writers Office
CREDIT: Weston Wells for Variety

If there is a focal point in Bee’s office, she considers it to be the red blazer she wore during her first episode, back in 2016, that is now framed and hung behind her desk. Although it was a piece she re-wore a couple of times after that quintessential show, she spilled beer on it at one point, and it stained, so she knew she had to “retire” it, though she jokes she has a “little emergency hammer” and “could release it if I absolutely had to.” But mostly, she likes the shadow box feeling such framed memorabilia provides.

Samantha Bee Writers Office
CREDIT: Weston Wells for Variety

Bee has long been a fan of Sigourney Weaver — so much so that she named her youngest child Ripley, after Weaver’s “Alien” franchise character. The two recently got to work together on Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, when Bee “literally out of the blue asked her to do the cold open of the show.” To Bee’s “great surprise and amazement,” Weaver said yes and then was “super game” to reprise her classic role for the special event. Now, Bee keeps a photo of the two of them, in part to relive the meeting with her idol, but also to remember to take the opportunities her platform provides her to “fangirl on people.”

Samantha Bee Writers Office
CREDIT: Weston Wells for Variety

Bee doesn’t have any particular ailments that require her to rest a heating pad on her body, yet she does it anyway. “I just find it so supremely comforting,” she says. Inspired by her head writer, Melinda Taub, Bee keeps them in her office because “the temperature is set by men, and so often it’s the temperature of a meat locker and I could cure prosciutto in my office.” But she also carries them with her when she travels and keeps them lying around at home. “This $15 item is such a game changer,” she says. “I bought out the Duane Reade.”

Samantha Bee Writers Office
CREDIT: Weston Wells for Variety

Hanging in Bee’s office is a watercolor painting her former assistant commissioned for her. Bee explains that it depicts her beloved cat Jerry getting cozy with a tiger. The cat “notoriously humps blankets and stuffed animals that resemble cats.” In her house, Jerry’s partner is a stuffed tiger that her son named Max. “There were times Jerry would go to town on [it] so many times in the day he was covered with saliva and other secretions,” she says. “That’s just what he’s made of.”

Samantha Bee Writers Office
CREDIT: Weston Wells for Variety

Bee’s show never shies away from politics, so naturally her office can’t be completely devoid of such imagery either. Sitting on her desk is a 3-inch sculpture of Donald Trump, which her daughter Ripley made for Mother’s Day. “She sculpted it out of clay and painted it and lacquered it. It’s the most adorable he’s ever looked,” Bee says. Although she notes that the president “creates a tremendous amount of havoc,” she loves the sculpture because it came from her child. “I find it really heartwarming that my daughter knows it’s something I do on the show,” she says.

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