This week, rather than take more time, but end up behind the curve, as the show did after the first Presidential debate, Samantha Bee went on the air the night after the second one, which is Full Frontal’s normally scheduled slot, rather than put it off until Wednesday. And for all the decrease in prep time, the show did not seem to suffer in the slightest.
Although the debate should have been the prime topic, that tape from 2005 that everyone, including the good people of the Planet Neptune, has seen by now, managed to hog a lot more of the attention. It was not until her third segment that the host got around to the debate.
The first part of the show concerned the tape, as we might expect. Certainly it was the bigger story. By now, we have become conditioned to sit through three Presidential debates per election cycle, so the existence of the occasion was no surprise. The tape, on the other hand, was certainly a jolt, not that anyone could accuse Donald Trump of having a chivalrous attitude toward ladies—even the ones who may not actually be Rosie O’Donnell.
Of course, Ms. Bee gave Trump the what-for he richly deserves, but perhaps the funniest part of the segment was her montage of the media trying to tap dance around the most vulgar of Trump’s vulgar words in the tape. She then followed the montage by reminding those reporters of the many, many words they could have used for the item in question, and topped it off with a very funny line you will have to find for yourself.
I thought the second segment was amusing enough, but a bit unfair. In that part of the show, Ms. Bee took the Republican leadership—notably Paul Ryan—to task for squirming uncomfortably in reaction to the notorious Trump tape. Sure, they could easily be made to look ridiculous, but who wouldn’t, in such a circumstance? Let us not forget, Donald Trump was not selected from that famous smoke-filled room that has given us such political hacks as Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and both Roosevelts. Instead, he came to us from that great and free democratic primary and caucus process that has given us such fine and distinguished statesmen as George W. Bush and Jimmy the Bungler. So let me give the host an A minus on sarcasm, but a C minus on fairness.
Finally, after all that razzamatazz, we get to the presidential debate. I thought Ms. Bee did an excellent (and fair) job on the commentary, to the extent that I will offer it below as your freebie.
To quote the tonal philosopher Steveland H. Morris, “Heaven help us all.”
Full Frontal, TBS, October 10, 2016