Samantha Bee Says Trump's Presidency Makes Comedy "More Challenging" Than You'd Expect
First, comedian Samantha Bee crashed the boys' club that has long been late night comedy. Now, she's crashing the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. As members of the White House Correspondents Association gather for their annual dinner in Washington, D.C., Bee, host of TBS' Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, kicks off her own party across town. Bee's Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner aims to — comedically — honor the fact-based journalism that has become increasingly important during Donald Trump's presidency. But while some might think the blunders of the Trump administration would make a comedian's job simple, Bee says it's not as easy as one might imagine to translate the reality of the Trump administration into comedy gold.
"Actually, most of the material is really challenging," Bee tells Bustle in an interview on the Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner's red carpet. "It's more challenging than you would expect. It's hard to extract comedy from things that feel very dire."
This isn't the first time Bee has admitted to finding the rapid-fire news cycle brought forth by the Trump administration a challenge to deal with as a comedian. "It's too much," she told Dunham in an interview for The Hollywood Reporter. "There's too much to talk about. Everything is a potential tragedy."
Part of the challenge, Bee said, is staying on top of what's happening, no matter how many times it means revising your material. "The news is changing so quickly, you think that the show's going to look one way on a Monday morning, and by Tuesday afternoon, the whole world has shifted, and everything is different, and you can't tell that story anymore, or everything has just moved on and no one would care," Bee told Dunham. "Every time I turn my phone off, something terrible happens in the world. It's insane."
Another challenge for Bee? Determining what's been the absolute hardest topic to joke about in the first 100 days of Trump's presidency. "I don't know if I could select just one," Bee tells Bustle. "But it is very challenging."
But Bee, who has been called queen of the Trump takedown, says she has no desire to ever crack her jokes in front of President Trump. "I just don't think I would ever want to perform for him ever," Bee tells Bustle ahead of her Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner. "I don't imagine us ever being in the same room together. I couldn't imagine that."