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The Daily Show & Samantha Bee

We get inside Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” with high-humored correspondent Samantha Bee.

Samantha Bee and Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" (Credit: TheDailyShow.com)

Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is a force of nature, laughter, politics and news in this country. A remarkable number of Americans cite it as a major source of news.

Right in the middle of it is “senior correspondent” Samantha Bee. With microphone, camera and comedic acting skills, she puts all kinds of newsmakers in all kinds of ridiculous conversations – and somehow we learn plenty from that. And we laugh.

Now she’s telling her story. It’s pretty wacky.

This Hour, On Point: life and “The Daily Show,” with “senior correspondent” Samantha Bee.

Guests:

Samantha Bee, senior correspondent for “The Daily Show,” where she’s worked since 2003. Her new book is “I Know I Am, But What Are You?” You can read an excerpt. Her husband, Jason Jones, is also a correspondent for “The Daily Show.”

Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University. He writes the “Pressthink” blog.

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  • JP

    I Love Sam B!!!!

  • KAP

    So excited for this! I love the Daily Show. It’s a great source of news with out the sugar coating. John Stewart and his team make the news real and fun to watch.

  • http://filmigirl.blogspot.com Kara

    There has been a lot of criticism of The Daily Show’s treatment of women from places like the blogs Gawker and Jezebel. I love Sam Bee but I’m disappointed at the recent hiring of Olivia Munn, who is just a pretty face. Where are the female comedians?

  • Steve

    I’m 28, and I watch Stewart almost every night. Most days, I think Stewart (along with Colbert and others) are the only ones actually telling the truth, and they’re doing it through satire. Satire can be such a powerful and often prophetic tool for social change, and Stewart, Colbert and correspondents like Sam B are inspiring change.

    (and making us laugh!)

  • CHRIS

    Love the Daily Show – John holds no punches and tells it like it is – an absurd farce previcated on the American Public. If I wasn’t laughing so hard, I would be crying.

  • Holt

    With you and Jason both working as correspondents — undoubtedly quite time-intensive — how do you balance your responsibilities as parents?

  • Steve T

    It’s a great show keep up the good work!
    Keep shovin it in the Fox hole.

  • JP

    Samantha B.,

    Will you and Jason please stop having kids and instead adopt me and my wife?

    We’ll be the best kids ever, and we even sort of like Jesus.

  • JP

    Kara,

    you obviously have never watched Olivia Munn do her thing.

    She’s very quick and funny, and not just “a pretty face.”

    … She’s also done well on the show so far.

    Try giving credit where credit is due, and don’t slap a label on somebody simply because of your preconceived notions about women.

  • Rex

    I like how NPR used the Daily Show in their fund raising campaign: Listen to NPR so you can understand the Daily Show. Both are great

  • http://filmigirl.blogspot.com Kara

    @JP I have seen Olivia Munn do her thing and she is not funny – nowhere near as hilarious as Kristen Schaal, for example.

    You are the one with the preconceived notion.

  • David

    Samantha, I love what you bring to the show! Memorable moment: your visiting the Al Jazeera English news room and giving them “pointers” on how to appeal to an American audience. Simply brilliant.

  • Chris Carmone

    My problem with the Daily Show is that sooo many kids (18-30) watch the show and think it’s news. I had an office that young adults used it as their only news source. It’s a very funny show and I enjoy it but it’s liberal bias is painful. They hit Bush with a baseball bat ever night but give the kid gloves to the Obama and his democrats. They’ll pick on him but not really taking shots at their policies.

  • Carol Steeves

    Thank goodness for shows like this. I haven’t seen such wonderful political comedy since Rowan and Martin and the Smothers Brothers. We, the citizens, need this!!

  • http://www.HollandGroupResults.com Chris

    Love Daily Show BUT …

    If this is a NEWS SHOW, Borat is a Social Anthropologist!

    Many associates, friends and family list The Daily Show among their top three NEWS SOURCES, and the only one they consider a MUST.

    “The ultimate goal of the show is to make the best joke” Your guest.

    Do I need to say more? Take it as a news show at our own peril as a nation.

    “Proving their balance?” “They don’t have this EXTRA burden? COMEDIES DON”T HAVE TO PROVE THEIR FACTS EITHER.

    That’s OK with me because IT”S A COMEDY.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoOxIgqlojk Dave Eger

    I’m pretty sure that if Jon Stewart was President and Stephen Colbert was VP, the world would be a much better place. Samantha Bee would make a great Secretary of State!

  • Bill Luzader

    My number one humor-satire-news source is “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!” Tied for number two is “The Colbert Report” and “Saturday Night Live-Weekend Update”. I find these have a ‘good sense of humor’ where some people, such as Jon Stewart and Bill Mahr, have a ‘bitter & nasty’ side – I feel that I sense the personal politics of Stewart and Mahr, I don’t sense that with the other programs.

  • Dave Eger

    Chris, I would agree with you that Borat is a social anthropologist, with a rather original style. I think it is a MUST that we laugh at the news… otherwise it’s WAY too depressing.

  • JP

    Kristen Schaal is terrific, as are all the daily show regulars,… but that doesn’t mean they can’t make room for Munn.

    Olivia Munn has proven again and again she can deliver very funny lines and keep a straight face… that’s a critical talent for comedy.

    … and I’m sorry if you’ve never witnessed it, but Munn is indeed quick-witted and funny on her G4 shows.

  • Dave

    What makes the Daily Show so successful is the way it pushes back against the hypocrisy and silliness of politicians and the main stream media, especially Fox News. It’s so satisfying to watch somebody ridicule these people on-air. It’s satire, not real news, but it’s very effective and fun to watch. Keep it up Sam.

  • David Tate

    The Dailey Show at its best (besides making us laugh a lot) shows that the king is wearing no clothes – whether the king is Fox news or some government official.

  • Lindsay

    first of all i am a huuuuuge fan. you have the most amazing comedic timing and the greatest facial expressions. i never miss a show. truth be told, jon stewart used to pop up in my dreams quite often (another story…)

    my question is: how has the chemistry of the show changed since the start of the colbert report. how much interaction and collaboration do the 2 shows have, or are they treated as separate entities? some nights, similar observations are noted on each show.

    thanks for coming on and good luck with the baby!

  • elizabeth

    I love Samantha Bee—she’s my favorite part of the DS. I haven’t followed the Jezebel-inspired controversy, but one thing I wonder about is Jon’s use of the p-word. I don’t know how to reconcile his use of that word with his overall level of sensitivity and fairness…almost as though its a kind of blindspot. It makes me feel a little bit alienated as a viewer, as though he assumes a male audience. I also wonder if its a kind of age-marker-I’m 26 and to me that word as like a catchall laugh line is kind of from the Reality Bites era. :) I guess I’m just curious if its been discussed behind the scenes.

  • Adam S.

    Re: affecting media change

    Stewart embarrassed and discredited CNNs Crossfire, too.

    It was soon off the air.

  • Hernan

    die hard fan of Samantha Bee, Jon Stewart, and Steven Colbert. Their shows have the courage to expose the truth,when real journalists have shown cowardice, specially during the Bush years. Their fear of being called unAmerican got in the way of their mission. One of the pillars of being an American is freedom of press. Tirants want a lap-dog press, which is what happened during that period. The daily show and Colbert report had the courage to expose, through satire, the obvious truth.
    This is what journalism should be about, and the real journalists say you hide behind comedy, so be it. Only you are doing what must be done.
    Thank you so much. Keep it up.

  • Eric P.

    The Daily Show is not news; it’s comedy. I feel sorry for the people who think otherwise. To truly appreciate the show (and Jon Stewart has said this), you need to have alreday gotten the news from an actual news source (even one as bad as cable TV news).

  • Louie

    I think the commentators miss the point on mainstream news. The majors are in no way trying to maintain legitimacy, in fact they consistantly forgoe objective reporting in lieu of opinion, in order to gain audience share and justification.

  • Steve

    Much is being made of whether TDS is more than a comedy show. Meaning is in the eye of the beholder, I think, and clearly a lot of people get more out of TDS than laughs.

    What Sam B just said — “Shining a light” — implies going beyond just trying to be funny and implies an attempt to make a serious point.

  • JP

    Good point Louie.

  • David

    Everytime Sam Bee is interviewed she sites the difficulty of getting a pro-lifer to use the word “choice”. Getting a pro-lifer to say the word “choice” is no doubt much easier than getting a pro-abortionists to use the term “unborn child” rather than “unwanted pregnancy”.

  • HC

    David, or as dificult as getting the “pro-lifers” to support healthcare and good education for those “post-delivery-unborn-children” (i.e. real children). This is exactly what we see through the DS; beyond the narrowness of the talking points.

  • William Maher

    Samantha Bee, you are a person of such depth! You said it meant so much to hear a Republican mention the word “choice” as regards the abortion issue(Oops, I mean “The Planned Parenthoold” issue(this is the lefty NPR crowd) Tell me Samantha, do you ever walk up to your lefty groupees and ask them where they stand on “choice” when it comes to parents choosing their own schools? I would be shocked to learn that you’re in the sack with the education mafia, a.k.a., teachers unions. Isn’t it interesting? These same schools turn out the never-ending generations of brain-dead, historical illiterates, who will then watch a comedian to get their news. I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to demonstrate your principled approaches to social or other issues. You have about as much credibility as O’Bama and his stimulus program hoax. Don’t forget, as a lefty, you’re not allowed to use the word “stimulous” any more because now the entire country knows the extent of this trillion dollar transfer of money into municipal unions coffers.

  • CHRIS M

    Last I knew, William Maher, people are not prevented from sending their kids to whatever private school they like, they just have to pay for it themselves – that is their “CHOICE”. What shouldn’t happen it that PUBLIC schools lose funding so little priviliged Johnny (or should I say Biff) can go to some elite or religious school on taxpayers dollars. Our taxes pay for all sorts of socialist programs – police, fire dept, libraries, good rood and bridges, clean water, and yes, public schools -its called supporting the infrastructure of your Community & Country. If you have a problem, why don’t you go off-grid & try surviving without all these niceties the rest of us like just fine.

    The only brain dead people I know (and wished I didn’t) are the ones who would deny the earth is part of round if it didn’t fit into their “righty” narrow-minded talking points instead of using their brains for something other than a space filler in their cranial cavity. Such big words for a lefty huh?

  • Kaity W

    I love On Point and try to listen every chance I get! Today’s episode was fantastic and Sam B is a great laugh. Living with my boyfriend I no longer have cable so i have not seen The Daily Show in quite awhile but I was reminded of a episode from the last time Sam was pregnant. Fox News had a story about something the daily show had covered but Fox was so wrong because the clip was months old when Sam was not pregnant. Anyway, it was funny amd reminded me why at 22 I listen to NPR and wish i could still see comedy central.

  • informed American

    As long as there is “The Daily Show”, Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, and NPR, there will always be “Yellow Journalism”.

  • Jonah

    The bridge between comedy and journalism is crossed best during the interview portion of the show. The depth of Jon Stewart’s interviews goes far beyond anything on network news. Not only does it help his legitimacy as a source for real news, but it actually touches on topics rarely covered elsewhere. This is yet another way in which the show is a “check” on mainstream news.

  • Dave B

    Some discussion on here about what The Daily Show is. Comedy? News? I’d say that they are news critics much the way Ebert and Roper were film critics. There’s obviously more satire involved, but much like watching “At the Movies” gave you an idea what the movies were about and if they were any good ,watching TDS is more about the delivery of the actual news and the news makers. They know they are not a news program and understand the perils of people thinking that they are. I feel like my comparison was a little muddled there, but hopefully the point got through.

  • Algonquian J. Calhoun

    @Kara
    “I love Sam Bee but I’m disappointed at the recent hiring of Olivia Munn, who is just a pretty face. Where are the female comedians?”
    =================================

    1) Obviously you didn’t see Munn’s interview with the AZ Senator who authored the anti-immigrant law. One of the best interview of a numb-nut doofus with power since Colbert.

    2) Where are all the female comedians? If you’ve ever gone to an open-mike the ratio of 90/10 male/female, as that pool winnows it remains 90/10.

    As my 18 year daughter said watching Munn, “Finally a smart one like Bee, not like the wannabe female comedians usually on Comedy Central, who try to out curse and gross out the men comedians. Loud, angry, insulting and stupid isn’t funny!”

  • joshua

    mainstream media figured it out a long time ago–they dont want to deliver news or truth or anything like the truth–they are not journalists and not even reporters–they are social engineers–engineering fascism and total ignorance weaving a retarded illusion.

  • peter nelson

    I don’t watch TV but I used to watch the Daily Show on the internet. I stopped watching when I realized that Stewart was getting a free ride from Fox. Instead of writing original material, Stewart just runs clips from Fox for a third of his show. There’s nothing funny about Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, et al – they’re nauseating. I don’t want to see them every night so I stopped watching Stewart’s show.

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