Full Frontal Episode Review: Like a Soft Pat of Butter, Samantha Bee is on a Roll

Last week, I had the pleasure of reporting that all three of Full Frontal’s segments were excellent—even the feeb segment that comes at the end. After watching last night’s rendition, I can now say that Ms. Bee and her show are six for six. Two more top-notch bits to start the next show and she will have broken catcher Wilbert “Uncle Robbie” Robinson’s record of going seven for seven, way back in the 1890s.

The show started off with Samantha Bee heaping well-deserved scorn on the proposed federal budget for the coming year. Again, operating from the disadvantaged position of having to weigh in after almost all of the talk show hosts, she managed to make her version even a bit funnier, including some very creative use of a bar graph. In the interest of fairness, she did not waste a lot of time debating the fitness of the nomenclature the administration has assigned to its plan: the hard power budget. That title actually rings true, as in hard to swallow or hard to believe.

Skipping ahead to the third piece, it did more than rise above the level of mediocrity so often attained in the last segment. It was actually excellent. The piece was largely in the form of an interview, and once again, the show’s producers put their best interviewer on the job: Samantha Bee.

The subject of the segment was the peril that our small-town newspapers face today. It used the local paper in New Brunswick, New Jersey as the situation’s poster-child. Rather than simply bemoan the situation, Ms. Bee and her writers come up with a solution to help with the paper’s serious circulation problems. Sorry, no free sample here. If you missed the show, you will have to catch this bit in another incarnation, as you should.

Circling back to the middle part, it proved to be a real eye-opener, at least to your narrator, who typically likes to watch and write with his eyes closed. Can’t you tell? Seriously, I and many of my persuasion had been accustom to thinking of Steve Bannon as the red devil perched on Mr. Trump’s shoulder, putting horrible thoughts into his ear, as if said devil were on the job round-the-clock. Well, as it turns out, he often yields the floor or, I guess, the shoulder blade, if we are to stay with the metaphor, to a possibly even scarier character named Sebastian L. v. Gorka, and no, the lower-case middle initial is not a misprint. Ms. Bee provides the explanation for said initial at the end of the segment, and it would be comical if it were not so distressing.

As an artist in the well-plowed field of bull guano, one ought to doff one’s hat to this fellow Gorka. As a so-called adviser on terrorism, he is the true embodiment of the peril extant in the dreaded combination of the fool guided by the knave. Between him and El Señor Bannon, we get to examine the astounding irony of Trump’s campaign promise to surround himself with the very best people—you know, to assure all the Clinton haters out there that they were not really voting for an omnipotent seven-year-old.

This is the included segment. Attention, as Arty Miller once said, must be paid.

Full Frontal, TBS, March 22, 2017

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Thomas Cleveland Lane

Thomas Cleveland Lane is a semi-retired freelance writer for pay and a stage actor for nothing more than the opportunity to make a fool of himself. Well, he does get a small stipend from the Washington Area Decency League, after playing the role of Hinezie in The Pajama Game, to never, ever appear on stage in his underpants again. When he has not managed to buffalo some director into casting him, Thomas can often be found at his favorite piano bar, annoying the patrons with his caterwauling. Thomas is the author of an anthology called Shaggy Dogs, a Collection of Not-So-Short Stories (destined to become a cult classic, shortly after he croaks). He is also the alter-ego to a very unbalanced Czech poet named Glub Dzmc. Mr. Lane generally resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and was last seen in the mirror, three days ago.


  1. Tim

    March 24, 2017 at 9:25 am

    You should stick to comedy and leave politics to the adults.

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