Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee
Samantha Bee - NEG 1672 (38976953031) (cropped).jpg
Bee in December 2017
Birth name Samantha Anne Bee[1]
Born (1969-10-25) October 25, 1969 (age 51)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Citizenship Canada (1969–present)
United States (2014–present)
Medium
  • Television
  • theatre
  • film
  • books
Alma mater University of Ottawa
Years active 2000–present
Genres
Subject(s)
Spouse
( m. 2001)
Children 3
Website samanthabee.com

Samantha Anne Bee (born October 25, 1969)[1][2] is a Canadian-American comedienne, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, and television host. Bee rose to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she became the longest-serving regular correspondent.[3] In 2015, she departed the show after 12 years to start her own show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Bee became a US citizen in 2014, while retaining her Canadian citizenship. In 2017, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world on their annual Time 100 list.

Early life

Bee was born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Debra and Ronald Bee.[4] She has said of her family: "Dating from well before the turn of the 20th century, if there has ever been a successful, happy marriage in my family lineage, I've yet to hear about it."[5] Bee's parents split up soon after her birth, and she was initially raised by her grandmother, who worked as a secretary at the Catholic school Bee attended,[6] on Roncesvalles Avenue during her childhood. She attended Humberside Collegiate Institute and York Memorial Collegiate Institute.[7]

After graduating from high school, Bee attended McGill University, where she studied humanities. Dissatisfied with a range of issues at the school, she transferred to the University of Ottawa after her first year. At the University of Ottawa, Bee signed up for a theatre class, thinking it would be easy. The class led to Bee discovering her love of performing.[2][6] Bee later enrolled in the George Brown Theatre School in Toronto.[7]

Career

Career beginnings

Bee started auditioning for acting roles in Toronto while working as a waitress.[6] At age 26, Bee toured with a stage production of Sailor Moon where she played the titular role.[6][8] Bee performed in Sailor Moon's "A" cast and future husband Jason Jones was a member of the "B" cast.[6]

Bee was one of the four founding members of Toronto-based sketch comedy troupe The Atomic Fireballs.[9] The Fireballs were all women. Demonstrating mutual support, the group would try to perform as many of each other's ideas as they could.[10]

2003–2014 at The Daily Show

Bee became a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on July 10, 2003.[11] Bee was the sole female correspondent on The Daily Show from her debut in 2003 until Kristen Schaal joined the show in March 2008. She was The Daily Show's first non-US citizen correspondent.[12] On that program, Bee demonstrated an ability to coax people into caricaturing themselves—particularly in segments like "Kill Drill", on hunters and fossil fuel executives claiming to be environmentalists;[13] "They So Horny?",[14] on the dearth of Asian men in U.S. pornography; "Tropical Repression", on Ed Heeney, a Florida politician running his campaign based on opposition to gay rights;[15] "The Undecided", an over-the-top look at the undecided voters leading up to the 2004 US presidential elections; the "Samantha Bee's So You Want To Bee A..." report series, which humorously caricatured the way in which one can easily obtain a certain job, like becoming a 527 group; and a segment entitled "NILFs" ("News I'd Like to F#@k"), discussing the sexiness of news anchors: "CNN has the wholesome girl-next-door NILFs, the kind you can bring home to meet your mother. MSNBC has the dirty-over-30 NILFs. Fox has the filthy NILFs who will report anything. They're the Hustler of NILFs."[16]

Bee had her first starring role in a feature film in 2004 with the Canadian independent film Ham & Cheese, co-written by her husband Jason Jones and starring Canadian comics Scott Thompson and Dave Foley.[17] The film marked Bee's first starring role.[18] She won a Canadian Comedy Award for "Pretty Funny Female Performance" for her role.[18] Jones joined The Daily Show as a correspondent in 2005, two years after his wife.[19][20] Jones became a freelance correspondent for the show while Bee reduced her workload during her pregnancy.[20]

Bee at a Hudson Union Society event, 2011

In December 2005, on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly used a clip of Bee from The Daily Show as an example of "The War on Christmas", presenting it as having aired recently. The satirical clip featured Bee mentioning how Christmas was the only religious holiday that's also a federal holiday in the United States, with O'Reilly talking about "Secular Central...excuse me, Comedy Central".[21][22] Jon Stewart responded on his show; inviting Bee out for a discussion, and unlike in the clip that aired on Factor, Bee was visibly eight months pregnant. Bee joked it was obvious that the footage O'Reilly showed was a year old (it originally aired in 2004) because she had different highlights in her hair, before stating that her water had just broken.[23][18] Bee was recognized with a 2005 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female TV Performance for her work on The Daily Show.[24]

On January 20, 2008, Bee finished as the highest scoring celebrity in the CBC game show Test The Nation. She had a minor role in Episode 15, "Spy Something or Get Out", of Little Mosque on the Prairie. Bee also appeared in the 12th episode of Season 20 of Law & Order ("Blackmail", episode 445), which aired on January 15, 2010. She played a minor role in an episode of the HBO series Bored to Death. She appeared as herself on the "Madame President" episode of The Electric Company. Bee also did a guest voice role of a talk show hostess named Pam in the Season 2 finale of Bob's Burgers, in addition to providing the voice for Lyla Lolliberry for two episodes in Season 4 of Phineas and Ferb. She appeared on Sesame Street during Season 42 as Mother Goose. In 2009, Bee appeared in the original cast of Love, Loss, and What I Wore.[25] That same year, she had a small role in the comedy Whatever Works, written and directed by Woody Allen.[26]

Bee authored a book titled I Know I Am, But What Are You?,[4] which was published in 2010.[27] She became the longest-serving regular Daily Show correspondent after passing Stephen Colbert's record in 2011.[3] The same year, Bee collaborated with her longtime friend Allana Harkin on the parenting blog "Eating Over the Sink" for the online magazine Babble.[28] In 2012, she appeared in Ken Finkleman's series Good God as Shandy Sommers, a devoutly Christian cable news host. She has also played roles in the series Bounty Hunters and Game On. In 2014, Bee was a panellist on Canada Reads, the CBC's annual national book debate. She defended Rawi Hage's novel Cockroach.[29] On October 7, 2014, in the absence of Jon Stewart, she co-hosted The Daily Show with Jones.[9]

2015–present: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

In March 2015, it was announced that she would leave The Daily Show – after 12 years – to host her own satirical news show on TBS.[30][31] Bee departed The Daily Show on April 30, 2015.[32] Her new show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, debuted on February 8, 2016.[33] With the program's debut, Bee became the first woman to host a late-night satire show.[10] Bee also tried to implement a hiring process which would give her show a more diverse staff than what is typical for a late night comedy show.[10] The first season of Full Frontal generated critical acclaim[34][35] and in November 2016, the show was renewed for a second season throughout 2017.[36]

Bee is an executive producer of the TBS comedy series The Detour (2016–present), which she created with her husband, Jason Jones.[37] One year into Bee's run on Full Frontal, Time named Bee one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[38] On April 29, 2017, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee hosted "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner" which aired on TBS the same evening.[39] In July 2017, Bee's "Nasty Woman Shirt" campaign raised over $1 million for Planned Parenthood.[40] In January 2018, TBS renewed Full Frontal for a third and fourth season, set to air through 2020. Bee's deal with Turner runs through 2022.[41]

In an episode of Full Frontal aired on May 30, 2018, Bee called Ivanka Trump a "feckless cunt", after talking about the immigration policy of Donald Trump.[42][43] The day after the segment aired, Bee apologized and "deeply [regretted]" the comment.[44] Comedians Kathy Griffin, Michelle Wolf, Sarah Silverman, and Jon Stewart defended Bee, with Stewart suggesting much of the outrage over the joke was strategic rather than genuine.[45] The show featured fewer national advertisements the following week.[46] Bee began the episode with an apology to any women she had offended and lamenting that one bad word had overshadowed the policy of detaining illegal immigrant children which she had been criticizing.[47][48]

In December 2018, it was announced that Bee has launched a new production company, called Swimsuit Competition, as well as signing a first-look deal with TBS. The company will focus on narrative and develop documentary television projects for TBS.[49]

Influences

Bee has credited Jon Stewart as one of her major influences,[50] and in several interviews she has said that her other comedic influences include Steve Martin, David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Betty White,[51] and Joan Rivers.[52]

Personal life

In 2001, Bee married actor and writer Jason Jones, whom she first met in 1996.[6] They reside in Manhattan, New York.[53] In January 2006, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Piper, then returned to The Daily Show in March 2006.[53] On January 24, 2008, Bee announced a second pregnancy on air during a bit about the media's coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign.[54] In 2008, their second child, a son named Fletcher, was born.[55] Their third child, a daughter named Ripley, was born in late 2010.[56] During her third pregnancy, Bee joked she and Jones were "just procreating like we're farmers."[57]

Bee holds both Canadian and United States citizenship after being naturalized as an American citizen in 2014.[58][59]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Ham & Cheese Beth Goodson
2007 Underdog Principal
2008 Coopers' Camera Nancy Cooper
2008 The Love Guru Cinnabon Cashier
2009 Whatever Works Chess Mother
2009 Motherhood Alison Hopper
2010 Date Night Woman in Times Square Uncredited
2010 Furry Vengeance Principal Baker
2014 Learning to Drive Debbie
2015 Get Squirrely Raitch (voice) aka A.C.O.R.N.S.: Operation Crackdown
2015 Sisters Liz
2018 Elliot the Littlest Reindeer Hazel (voice)

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Real Kids, Real Adventures Neighbour Episode: "Explosion: The Christopher Wise Story"
2003–2015 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Herself (correspondent) 332 episodes
2003 Jasper, Texas Kathy Television film
2005 Odd Job Jack Linda Callahan (voice) Episode: "Law and Lawless"
2006 Love Monkey Carol Dulac – Letterman Booker Episode: "The One That Got Away"
2007 Not This But This Various Also co-producer
2007 Little Mosque on the Prairie Nancy Layton Episode: "Spy Something or Get Out"
2007 Rescue Me Real Estate Agent Episode: "Animal"
2007 Two Families Television film
2009–2011 Bored to Death Renee Dalton 3 episodes
2010 Law & Order Vanessa Carville Episode: "Blackmail"
2010 Love Letters Melissa Television film
2010–2012 Sesame Street Mother Goose 2 episodes
2011 Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays Nancy Slade Episode: "Sweating"
2012 Good God Shandy Sommers 9 episodes
2012–2017 Bob's Burgers Pam, Nurse Liz (voice) 4 episodes
2013 Bounty Hunters Stacy (voice) 13 episodes
2013–2014 Phineas and Ferb Lyla Lolliberry, additional voices 2 episodes
2013–2017 Creative Galaxy Mom (voice) 22 episodes
2014 The Michael J. Fox Show Dr. Young Episode: "Surprise"
2014 Deadbeat Darcy 2 episodes
2015 Halal In The Family Wendy Episode: "The Amazing Race"
2015–2016 Game On Geri 25 episodes
2016–present Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Herself (host) Also creator, writer, executive producer
2016–2019 The Detour Nate's Mother 2 episodes
2017 The History of Comedy Herself 2 episodes
2020 BoJack Horseman Herself Episode: "The Horny Unicorn"
2020 Blue's Clues & You! Herself Episode: "Happy Birthday, Blue!"
Year Title Notes
2016–2019 The Detour Co-creator, writer, executive producer
2020–present It's Personal with Amy Hoggart Executive producer

Stage

Year Title Role Venue Ref.
2009 Love, Loss, and What I Wore N/A Westside Theatre [60]

Published works

  • America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction. Warner Books. 2004. ISBN 978-0-446-53268-6.
  • Bee, Samantha (2010). I Know I Am, But What Are You?. Gallery Books. ISBN 978-1-4391-4273-8.
  • Bee, Samantha (2016). Cracking Up. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-30199-6.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2005 Canadian Comedy Awards Film – Pretty Funny Performance – Female Ham & Cheese Nominated [61]
Television – Pretty Funny Female Performance The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Won [12]
2009 Best Performance by a Female – Film Coopers' Camera Won [62]
2012 Best Performance by a Female – Television Good God Nominated [63]
2013 Canadian Screen Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series Nominated [64]
2015 Canadian Comedy Awards Canadian Comedy Person of the Year N/A Won [65]
2016 Women's Media Center History Making Award N/A Won [66]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in News and Information Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Won [67]
Individual Achievement in Comedy Nominated [68]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated [69]
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Talk Show Nominated [70]
2017 Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television Nominated [71]
Dorian Awards TV Current Affairs Show of the Year Won [72]
Wilde Wit of the Year Nominated [73]
Gracie Awards On-Air Talent – Entertainment or Sports Won [74]
Shorty Awards Best Comedian Nominated [75]
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Host Nominated [76]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in News and Information Nominated [77]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Variety Talk Series Nominated [69]
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated
Outstanding Variety Special Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Won
2018 Producers Guild of America Award Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television Nominated [78]
Dorian Awards TV Current Affairs Show of the Year Won [79]
Wilde Wit of the Year Nominated [80]
Writers Guild of America Award Comedy/Variety – Talk Series Nominated [81]
Gracie Awards Special Won [82]
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Television Academy Honor Won [83]
Canadian Comedy Awards Comedic Artist of the Year Nominated [84]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sketch/Variety Shows Nominated [85]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Variety Talk Series Nominated [86]
Outstanding Variety Special Nominated [87]
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated [69]
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Nominated
Outstanding Interactive Program Nominated
2019 Dorian Awards TV Current Affairs Show of the Year Won [88]
Wilde Wit of the Year Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Comedy/Variety – Talk Series Nominated [89]
GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode[a] Won [90]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sketch/Variety Shows Nominated [91]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Talk Series Nominated [69]
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated
People's Choice Awards The Nighttime Talk Show of 2019 Nominated [92]
2020 Dorian Awards TV Current Affairs Show of the Year Nominated [93]
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Talk Show Nominated [94]
Writers Guild of America Award Comedy/Variety – Talk Series Nominated [95]
Comedy/Variety – Specials Won

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