February is going to pretty great in terms of late night television. Yes, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver will be back mid month and that's wonderful—but I'm more excited about what is popping up on TBS. Samantha Bee, who left the Daily Show last year after more than a decade, is getting her own show: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
To succeed at producing a weekly show that slices headline news to the quick, she must be two things that women are not always embraced for being — very funny and a little angry — and she must be those things while exuding a quality almost never afforded women: authority.It’s quite a bit easier to sound like a hero in a deeper register and like a scold in a higher one, even if you are saying the same kind of words and doing the same kind of job as Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert or John Oliver.
But Bee is perhaps uniquely equipped to give this kind of role a test drive. She’s a news junkie, an unapologetic feminist; she is direct and sincere and also bitingly funny; in her corner office is a large painting of a bare-chested Vladimir Putin riding a bear, a prop taken from The Detour, a half-hour comedy she co-created with her husband, Jason Jones, planned for later this year. The absurdly silly image seems to reflect some of Bee’s comedic DGAF drive to make her point. When Vanity Fair last year published a photo of all-male late-night hosts, she infamously retweeted the image doctored to include her as a tattooed centaur with laser eyes.