With Jay Leno and David Letterman out of the picture, replaced by nice guys Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert, the general consensus is that the late-night wars are over. These days, the men of late-night have nothing but kind words for each other.
Well, as late-night’s lone woman, Samantha Bee isn’t playing that game.
On Monday’s Full Frontal, Bee called out her fellow late-night host Fallon for his widely-panned softball interview with Donald Trump.
“Why do so many Americans think playing footsie with fringe hate groups isn’t a disqualifier from polite society, much less the presidency?” Bee asked. “Maybe because that’s the message they get from entertainment giants like NBC,” she said, referencing how they fostered Trump’s image through The Celebrity Apprentice.
She said the network “tacitly condoned a race-baiting demagogue” even after they claimed to “sever ties” with him following his presidential campaign announcement. “If by severing ties, you mean inviting him on their flagship comedy programs to show millions of Americans what a fun guy he is.”
Why did Trump host Saturday Night Live last fall? “I guess because ratings matter more than brown people,” Bee said. “Sure, he’s making life palpably dangerous for Muslims and immigrants, but hey, he’s good entertainment! Here’s a thought: when Holocaust survivors are telling you this guy gives me déjà vu, maybe don’t invite him up into your house to play with your adorable children.”
With that she cut to a montage of Fallon’s most lightweight questions.
“Aww, Trump can be a total sweetheart with someone who has no reason to be terrified of him,” Bee said. “I notice there were no cutaway shots to The Roots. I wonder why.”
“Network execs and a lot of their audience”—and by extension, Fallon—“can ignore how very dangerous Trump is, because to them, he isn’t,” Bee concluded. “They’re not gonna be deported. They’re not gonna live under a president who thinks of them as a collection of sex toys. They’re not racist. They just don’t mind if other people are, which is just as bad.”
Bee was also the first late-night host to weigh in on the weekend’s spate of bombings in New York and New Jersey.
“We’re so grateful nobody was killed and we wish everyone injured a speedy recovery,” she said. “Need more proof that New Yorkers are the best? The reason they caught the bombing suspect is because a couple of New Yorkers saw his second suitcase bomb on the sidewalk, thought, ‘Hey, free suitcase,’ threw the bomb away and made off with their new luggage.”
“Terrorists, when are you gonna learn that you can’t scare us?” Bee asked. “New Yorkers aren’t afraid of this,” she said, showing a photo of a cockroach on the screen, “and we’re not afraid of you. Only one thing scares us: The thought of people voting for a crazy person who has voiced their fear of terrorism.”
“New Yorkers are used to this kind of dumpster fire,” she added, the mangled dumpster that the bomb was placed in appearing over her shoulder. “Please don’t use it as an excuse to elect this kind of dumpster fire”: Donald Trump.