‘Full Frontal’ host Samantha Bee takes road trip to Ohio
By Frazier Moore
AP Television Writer
It seems everyone has gone to the Republican National Convention.
But Samantha Bee already went to Cleveland and came back home – and lived to tell her audience about it.
“We wanted to get out of the studio, and that’s what we did,” said Bee from the Manhattan office of her TBS political-and-cultural-humor series, “Full Frontal” (which airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m.).
The result of her odyssey is a half-hour special edition airing Wednesday at 10:30 p.m., whose extra-specialness is signaled by its title: “A Very Special Full Frontal Special.”
“We wanted to do something that’s a complete lark and blow out our regular format entirely,” said Bee, who otherwise originates from her New York home base.
For the special, Bee and her crew hit the road last week en route to Cleveland to talk to regular Americans along the way (while never crossing paths with big-time pols or pundits or presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump).
“We went from New York to New Jersey to Pennsylvania to Ohio,” said Bee said, tracing their itinerary. “We skipped North Dakota and Florida.”
The special will place Bee in the correspondent’s role she honed to droll perfection during her dozen years doing reports for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
What did she find out along the way?
“We learned that people in the real world don’t really care that much about what’s happening at the convention,” she disclosed, bursting out in laughter. “They actually have lives to lead!
“We talked to some of the loveliest people,” she added. “They were very warm and relaxed. We decided we were going to open a bed-and-breakfast in the middle of Pennsylvania and give this all up – possibly.”
But not right away.
“Full Frontal,” which debuted in February, is on a roll with its shrewd and refreshingly distaff take on what’s happening in the news. And although it, and Bee, were denied Emmy nominations last week, the show did snag an Emmy nod for best writing.
Bee hopes to do some sort of special pegged to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, as well.
“Doing this one made us more aware of how much we like getting out of the studio and meeting actual people,” she said.
And she isn’t done with Cleveland. After Monday’s “Full Frontal,” she and her team head back to do pieces from the convention as it unfolds. These will air on the show next week.
Asked what she expects from the GOP’s shindig, she replied, “I like things as nice and safe as possible. I’m hoping for safeness outside the convention and, within the convention perimeter, spice.
“They’re letting us inside!” she chortled. “They gave us credentials! Can you believe it?”