Samantha Bee Talks Haters, Feminism, And Her 40s

Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal has enjoyed tremendous popularity lately, in part due to her acerbic wit, incisive commentary and controversial opinions. Today, she sat down with NPR’s Fresh Air to talk about Full Frontal, her legions of online haters (and loyal fans) and the freedom she’s found in her 40s.

Formerly a correspondent for the Daily Show, Samantha Bee has hit the ground running after leaving the popular late night show with her own late night outing, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. A wholly original political comedy, Samantha Bee takes on controversial subjects which The Daily Show might have previously tiptoed around. Samantha Bee told NPR that the show is “liberating” and a lot of fun to put together.

“Being in my late 40s has been absolutely freeing and liberating for me, I’m a married woman with kids. I’m a professional. People just can’t [put me] in a tiny box that makes sense to them, so now I just don’t care that much what people think of me, and now I do my own thing,” said Samantha Bee, on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

Samantha Bee’s show Full Frontal has been the breakout star of late night this year, competing head-to-head in YouTube views and traditional ratings with two other Daily Show alums, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, both of which have enjoyed a tremendous amount of critical acclaim for their own takes on the late night comedy show. But Sam Bee’s Full Frontal is a different animal entirely; her show is every bit as cutting and incisive as Oliver’s, but she routinely tackles subjects that are difficult for audiences to swallow, and she does it with an unapologetically feminist flair, reports Inverse.

“My mother’s a feminist, I think that I was just steeped in feminism from an early age. It’s just in my DNA. It’s not something we ever really talked about that much or congratulated each other for. It’s just part of who I am. I think it’s a part of who my daughters are,” said Samantha Bee, talking with NPR’s Terry Gross on Fresh Air today.

Feminism, Samantha Bee says, is a big part of her approach to political issues – looking at things critically, from the point of view of someone trying to find an angle that hasn’t been covered by other comedians, or even other political news shows. Samantha Bee’s approach to comedy, and the feminist DNA in her work to date has struck a chord with today’s viewers, both on TV and online – her YouTube channel already has over 29 million views.

“I also watched female comedians killing it on television every day because I grew up in the ’70s when you watched TV when you ate dinner. TV was you best friend and your babysitter, but I would sit and watch The Carol Burnett Show, I Love Lucy, Second City TV, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, there was no shortage of strong female performers making their way in comedy,” said Samantha Bee, talking with NPR today.

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As Inquisitr has reported previously, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is a huge hit online, but it’s not without its detractors. The popular TBS show receives all kinds of hate on social media, usually from men’s rights groups and conservative activists who take issue with Samantha Bee’s unapologetic and cutting criticism of conservative causes like abortion.

Samantha Bee addressed, in particular, her interview with Texas Congressman Dan Flynn, in which she skewers the Republican lawmaker’s support of abortion restrictions.

“He was very willing to talk to us. He’s passionate about the issue he’s passionate about. We happen to disagree so strenuously with one another, but he really wanted an opportunity to say his piece,” said Samantha Bee on NPR’s Fresh Air today.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee airs on Monday nights at 10 p.m. EST on TBS.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]