Full Frontal Episode Review: Samantha Bee Hops Across the Pond


First, let’s have the spoilers: like last week’s show, the most recent edition of Full Frontal dealt directly or indirectly with Donald Trump. Please try to control your loud gasps of surprise—someone is trying to write an article here. Also like last week’s broadcast, this was another quality piece of work, from start to finish.

In the show’s opening segment, the host gave some deserved kudos to CNN, which, I am sure we can all agree, does not always deserve them, but based on what Ms. Bee showed us in this segment, they seem to have obtained togetherness for their digestive remains, so to speak. To be honest, the entire segment was not about Mr. Trump. The news network also got a slap on the back for its hosting of the surprisingly interesting debate between Senators Sanders and Cruz. Believe me, the presentation was a lot more amusing in plain sight than your narrator can make it at a distance. This is just one of three reasons to check the show out, in case you missed it.

Another segment took up the question of “sanctuary cities” in a very serious, but also very comedic matter, which is as it should be. The situation is both serious and farcical. It sort of brings to mind a joke in German-speaking Europe, just prior to the first World War: In Berlin, the situation is serious, but not hopeless. In Vienna, the situation is hopeless, but not serious. The really crazy aspect of this segment is that Samantha Bee came up with a justification (probably enshrined in law) that Jefferson Davis or George Wallace would have been very familiar with.

But, as chock with chuckle as those two bits were, they were funereal eulogies compared to the third one, where Ms. Bee and the production staff sent reporter Amy Hoggart back to her native Scotland to get some outsiders’ points of view regarding America’s new leader. The segment started out on a seemingly high note, when Trump announced to all within earshot midst the heather, how glad he was to be there, seeing as how his own mother “was Scotch.” True, Trump is not the only one who makes that mistake, but it is as though, if your mother came from Israel, you were to say she “was Jew.” The word, as Ms. Hoggart pointed out is “Scottish.”
And the Trump popularity barometer only went precipitously from there. Most of the amusement came from a crusty old farmer who would not sell his land for Trump’s Greatest Golf Course Ever Built. Then the government itself further gummed up the works by building one of those ugly, useless eyesores the tree-huggers call wind farms far too close to the course. The outraged greenskeeper-in-chief took his case to Parliament, yet—surprise of all surprises—failed to impress.

As amusing as this segment was, I should point out to any viewer checking it out for the first time on a re-broadcast, crank up the volume. Some of the heavier accents may be a little hard for us Yankee dogs to decipher.

The show closed with a self-congratulatory announcement of its first birthday. Sure, why not? Congratulations.

One final note, and then I’ll let you get back to your quadratic equations: As amusing as this show was, the absolute funniest Trump comedy moment of the fiscal week came, not from Full Frontal, but in the opening segment of the most recent broadcast, where Trump is having a split-screen telephone conversation with German leader Angela Merkel. At one point, the Trump character tells her (Kate McKinnon) that someday he will write a book about his battles with the lying media, telling her that he plans to call it “My Struggle.” Then, he asks her how that would translate into German, while McKinnon’s face suddenly registers abject panic. Very funny indeed, if it weren’t for the notion that we may all get many chances to imitate that look of panic in the weeks remaining of our most recent administration.

Full Frontal, TBS, February 8, 2017

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