Samantha Bee: Today’s First Lady of Late Night

Samantha Bee is having a moment— her hilarious, new late-night talk show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has quickly become must-see television. She has broken into the perennial ‘boys club’ with her witty commentary and powerful field reporting (her piece on Syrian refugees is not only moving, but she found a way to make it funny, too). And with the 2016 election in full swing, Sam is out in full force — skewering both sides of the aisle. But one candidate in particular has proven to be comedy gold for Sam: Sen. Ted Cruz.

“If I’m feeling down, all I have to do is watch Ted Cruz in ‘The Crucible’ and my spirits lift. He didn’t know that that performance would resonate through the ages in that way. And bring joy to so many people. So many tens of people in my office.”

Smokin’ Sweet Potato Fries

But, the 2016 election is not just comedy for Sam, it holds special significance — it’s her first time voting in the United States (Sam and her husband [fellow The Daily Show alum Jason Jones] just became U.S. citizens). And while Sam has made up her mind about her candidate of choice, she’s keeping it to herself because she’s “supposed to pretend to be objective.”

But it wasn’t all work and politics during our lunch at P.J. Clarke’s; we spoke at length about her childhood growing up in Canada; her mother is a Wiccan, she had a serious crush on Jesus (yes, that Jesus) and lived a life of crime until she was 15 (well, kind of).

“I had a boyfriend who was a bad boy. I really fancied us — a contemporary Bonnie and Clyde. And I thought — I really did think that we would live a life of crime together. This is 15-year-old Samantha Bee, you know, figuring out her future plans.”

After her brief stint living on the wild side, Sam met her future husband who encouraged her to go into comedy. She says, her 12 years as a correspondent on The Daily Show exposed her to the weird and wild world of American politics, especially the conventions. She’s excited to return this year — this time for her own show.

“I love [my show] so much. I mean it’s such hard work. It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked, I love my staff. I love the whole experience. I’m learning. I’m collaborating. I think we’re doing the show that we want to do.”

Watch my complete Yahoo! News interview with Samantha Bee:

Founder, Katie Couric Media. Newscaster: Wake-Up Call. Podcaster: Next Question. Doc filmmaker. @SU2C founder.

Founder, Katie Couric Media. Newscaster: Wake-Up Call. Podcaster: Next Question. Doc filmmaker. @SU2C founder.