In her opening monologue at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon, Samantha Bee called out Vice President Mike Pence before addressing the importance of the event.
Of course, from the moment the “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” host took the stage, she was firing out jokes. Her first target was President Donald Trump. “If the pee tape drops while I’m standing up here talking, I need you to shout at me, and I will shut this s— down, and we will throw it up right there on the big screen,” Bee said gesturing to the monitor behind her.
Making sure she didn’t leave out Pence, Bee added, “As I look out at this room of hundreds of women, I can’t help but feel inspired and totally safe knowing that this is Mike Pence’s personal hell.” She continued, “If he was here today, he would just be ricocheting around this room like ‘Are you my mother?’ Where’s my mother? Oh, mother wouldn’t approve of this.’”
Bee then switched gears to praise the women in the room. “It is obvious to all of us here that phrase powerful women is not an oxymoron. It’s a fundamental truth,” she said.
“Looking out at the crowd, I see table after table of powerful women working diligently to level the playing field. It’s not just you doing it Viola Davis.” She added, “I get to work with amazing women every day and produce the kinds of segments that are important to us.”
She also addressed the fact that she is one of the few women with a late-night talk show. “So if you are in a position to hire people, take it from me and hire women,” Bee said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to put your money where your mouth is and go for it.”
Bee had a few jokes for each of the women being honored, including Emily Blunt, Margaret Atwood, Tarana Burke, and Alicia Keys. She joked that although Atwood wrote “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 1985, it is still relevant today. “I am not a betting woman but if I was, I would put my money on literally anything that Margaret wrote because she can see the f—ing future,” Bee said.
Speaking about Burke starting and propelling the #MeToo movement, Bee added at the end of her speech, “We did think that we’d do something extra special for you Tarana, so in lieu of a traditional award we had a coat made for you out of Tony Robbins’s pelt.”