Brow Beat

Samantha Bee’s Angry Segment on Orlando Showed She’s Unlike Everyone Else on Late Night

In his interview for the cover of this week’s New York magazine, Louis C.K. explains why he thinks Samantha Bee is “the next thing”:

The other guys doing that kind of format are all good, but we’ve heard it. They’re beating a drum. That’s fine, but she’s really surprising. The thing that she does is she leans forward and she fucking pounds her hands like she’s hitting a pulpit. She’s angry. This is the new thing with her: She’s not smug. All of these guys, even Jon Stewart, who’s a fucking genius, he would get upset but he always stayed cool. Guys like to be a little above it. They like to be in control. Even after ranting, they suddenly calm down and smile. But Samantha doesn’t do that. She’s really fucking mad! She’s like, Yes, I am a fucking feminist! She’s right about everything that I see her talk about. She’s by far the most interesting as far as, here’s my take on this shit that everybody else is chewing on.

C.K.’s comments could hardly be better timed, because on Monday night’s Full Frontal, Bee gave what will likely become the new Exhibit A for why she stands apart from the rest of late night. “Now, after a massacre, the standard operating procedure is that you stand on stage and deliver some well-meaning words about how we will get through this together,” she said to open the show. “How love wins, how love conquers hate. And that is great, that is beautiful. But you know what? Fuck it! I am too angry for that. Love does not win, unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems.”

She then spent more than seven minutes tearing into the politicians around the country who offer “prayers” but no real actions to support even the mostly widely supported gun-control laws. I’ve sometimes worried that some of Bee’s segments amount to preaching to the choir, but she also tried to speak to these governors and House members in their own terms, by citing the biblical doctrine that faith without works is dead.

And unlike a typical “main story” from John Oliver, it didn’t end in a cathartic Muppet musical number or an ironic rain of confetti—instead it ended in a prayer that, whether you agree with it or not, was unlike any other you’ll see on TV.

Read more from Slate on the Orlando nightclub shooting.