The host of TBS’s weekly news-satire show, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, arrived on the job in 2016 after spending almost 12 years at The Daily Show. By November, Full Frontal was matching The Daily Show in the ratings. Managing a team of her own was something Bee had never done before, so she had to learn fast, as she explains to Fast Company’s KC Ifeanyi.
Full Frontal could not have launched at a more opportune time. How do you plan to keep the momentum going now that the presidential campaign is over?
We are going to have another presidential election in 2017. Is everybody on board? Let’s do it. No, the election has wrung us out.
You had a long career before hosting your own show. What was it like stepping into a leadership role?
I didn’t expect to have to think so much about leadership! At the beginning, it was just me and [head writer and show runner] Jo Miller and [executive producer] Miles Kahn, and we would just laugh and send each other crazy emails. We still have a pretty tight staff, but when you’re trying to create a comedy show, which is a tremendous amount of work, you actually have to manage people, and think about their lives, and make their lives livable, and think about their feelings, and manage their relationships. That was very new to me and has been the greatest learning curve. I don’t think I always succeed at it, but I always am trying to do bet