This election season has been surprising for any number of reasons, from Russia’s alleged cyber-intervention that tipped the scales toward its favorite useful idiot to the shock victory of a former reality-TV show host who was caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women with impunity. It’s also resulted in some far-fetched alliances: Hillary Clinton and Mary J. Blige (cringe), Mitt Romney and Donald Trump (sad!), and Kanye and Donald (ugh).
Enter: Samantha Bee and Glenn Beck.
Five years ago, around the time Beck’s views were considered too far-right for even Fox News, this union would seem—in the immortal words of Vizzini—inconceivable, yet in recent months, Beck has experienced a Scrooge-like transformation. He’s penned a New York Times op-ed in support of Black Lives Matter; branded Trump “under-educated” and a “danger to the republic”; and came out against Steve Bannon and the “alt-right,” calling the ex-Breitbart puppeteer-turned-Trump chief strategist a “terrifying man” with a “clear tie to white nationalists.” Whether or not this is a calculated move on Beck’s part given his cratering media empire is anyone’s guess.
On Monday night, Bee welcomed Beck on her late-night program Full Frontal for a Christmastime chat. Dressed in matching ugly Christmas sweaters, the disparate duo first exchanged a few pleasantries. “My audience would like to stab you relentlessly in the eye,” said Beck. “My audience wants to kill me for normalizing a lunatic like yourself,” Bee replied.
The comedienne then explained why she decided to reach out to Beck and have him on her program. “I think that our future is going to require a broad coalition of nonpartisan decency. It’s not just individual people against Donald Trump; it’s all of us against Trumpism,” she offered.“I agree,” said Beck. “As a guy who has done damage, I don’t want to do any more damage. I know what I did. I helped divide—I’m willing to take that. My message to you is: Please don’t make the mistakes I made. And I think all of us are doing it. We’re doing it on Facebook, we’re doing it on Twitter. We tear each other apart and we don’t see the human on the other side.”
Beck then took Bee to task for adopting “a lot of my catastrophe traits,” insinuating that she, like many of her fellow left-leaning political satirists, has a tendency to overstate the direness of things, turning the volume up to 11 on even the most minor transgressions.
“Do you believe there’s a chance we fall into a dictatorship under Donald Trump?” asked Beck. “Do you believe there’s a chance we lose our freedom of speech and press under this president?”
At the conclusion of their surreal tête-à-tête, they held hands (“It feels so creepy,” joked Beck), before Bee gifted Beck with a ‘Strange Bedfellows’ cake of them lying together in bed. Then, they ate each other’s cake heads, because that’s what odd friendship tastes like.