Full Frontal Episode Review: Samantha Bee Goes Three for Three Again


Spoilage alert: the most recent edition of Full Frontal was excellent, from start to finish. I gave the matter considerable thought and found that I did not have a single nit to pick, even after running my fingernails through my hair, just to make sure.

Another great thing about this broadcast is that Samantha Bee and her writers managed to overcome the problem TBS had created for her by moving her show to a later day of the week. As I had mentioned in earlier articles, that has often led to some other comedian beating her to the Hawaiian Punch. This time, the show managed to come up with three concepts that were fresh in more than one sense of the word.

The first segment dealt with a bit of paranoia, first launched by the male Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, then jumped on by the entire pro-Trump crowd. The idea is that our government is being plagued by what Hannity calls the Deep State, consisting of liberal bureaucrats, whose sole agenda consists of undermining the patriotic program (and really great deal) of Donald Trump. Balderdash! (Wow, your narrator has been waiting years to use that word in any other sense than a track meet among Hair Club for Men members). As everybody must know, the chief and, in many cases, only agenda of our faithful civil servants is to download as much porn as possible on the government’s nickel.

All kidding aside (Well…sort of), elementary civics should easily give the lie to that notion. In a span of time long enough to reach from beginning to retirement of all our civil servants, there have been Republican administrations and Democratic administrations; more of the former than the latter, if I am not mistaken. Both parties, not just the Dems, have had ample opportunity to stuff “their people” into the system. The statistics Ms. Bee posted showed only a narrow difference among government workers as to party affiliation. Based on common sense, that would seem to be an accurate measure.

In any case, the host succeeded very well in holding the Deep State notion up to ridicule, then closed the segment with a very amusing tableau.

In her second segment, which I consider probably the best and absolutely the most relevant, Samantha Bee turns her attention 180 degrees away from Trump and his ilk, then takes a good, hard squint at those not of his ilk. Especially because of its relevance, I am featuring this segment as the here and now piece. When you come right down to it, it’s mox-nix to me whether or not you miss the rest of the show (although you will be doing yourself a disfavor if you do), but you really ought to see this bit. I will not provide any spoilers, but the essence of the message is that those of us who oppose the right wing and its poster boy should disabuse ourselves of the notion that our digestive remains do not emit a stench.

The third segment—an interview, as expected—features the very witty Egyptian comedian and commentator Bassem Youssef. This is not in any way to denigrate the show’s field reporters, but the best interviews have been the ones that Ms. Bee conducts herself. This case was no exception. I am sure you will find it very amusing. You may also be somewhat surprised at what Youssef had to say about what the Egyptian leadership would think of Donald Trump.

So here it is: if you caught the show, good for you. If not, catch it wherever you can. Seriously.

Full Frontal, TBS, March 15, 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.