A Real Live Woman Joins the Late Night Lineup!
If you’re like me, and you’ve always been more of a Colbert Report connoisseur than a Daily Show devotee, there’s a good chance you hadn’t even heard of late night’s newest kid on the block until recently. But it has been impossible to escape one name as of late: Samantha Bee.That’s right, folks, the Daily Show veteran will be premiering as the only woman to appear in a late night line up which, while lovable, looks a little bit like the cast of a movie that might be titled White Men with Brown Hair (in this movie, Trevor Noah and Conan O’Brien might star as the “quirky outsiders” who at first try to change in order to fit in with the other white brunettes, but later learn to embrace what makes them different!).The weekly show titled “Full Frontal” will premiere February 8th on TBS where it will confront expectations of what it means to be a woman in comedy, late night, and leadership. The show will not be marketed specifically towards a female audience, however. In a promo, Bee joked that viewers should “watch because of my nuanced perspective on world events, my repartee with newsmakers across the ideological spectrum, and of course these,” pointing to a large pair of fake testicles. As David Sims of The Atlantic put it, “It seems ridiculous that in 2015 a gag about needing a Y chromosome to host a late-night talk show would be so cutting, but that’s how slow change has been in coming to this particular school of television.”As the first woman to sit in this kind of position since Chelsea Handler, expectations of how the show’s staff will incorporate inclusivity and diversity are high. Hollywood writers’ rooms are criticized for being a homogenous boys’ club, and the task to incorporate new voices was not taken lightly by the show runners. In an article with the NY Times, Bee said, “It actually takes a lot of effort to change things. It’s an ongoing process, and it has to just be a part of your mental state.” The same article disclosed that the show employed a blind application process for new writers. All they knew about their applicants were their jokes and ideas. The writing staff can now boast gender parity with a breakdown of 50% female, 50% male. [bctt tweet=“Bee has set a new precedent in the comedy world and we can’t wait to see what she does next.”]