TIME

THE NEW POLITICS OF Late Night

IN A WILD ELECTION WITH A RIPE ORANGE TARGET, COMICS ARE DITCHING BALANCE AND TAKING SIDES
On the set of her show Full Frontal, Samantha Bee prepares another impassioned broadside

NO LATE-NIGHT-TV COMEDIAN ATTACKS THE JOB with more righteous intensity than Samantha Bee. Once a week on her TBS show Full Frontal, she stands before a wall of video monitors, feet planted shoulder-width apart, neck muscles tensed, leaning forward like a panther getting ready to pounce. She talks fast, racing to pack a week’s worth of outrage into one high-voltage half hour. She has a flair for the baroque insult, calling Donald Trump, at various times, a “tangerine-tinted trash-can fire,” “sociopathic 70-year-old toddler,” “screaming carrot demon” and “America’s burst appendix.” The Republican National Convention, for Bee, was “a poorly attended rage-athon featuring a parade of hemorrhoidal has-beens.” Sometimes the fury leaves her nearly speechless. After playing a clip of Trump’s debate-night boast about the size of his private parts, Bee is shown wielding a squeegee on a blurry camera lens: “Sorry, let me just wipe the vomit off . . .”

Bee launched her show in February after 12 years as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, and the fervor of her advocacy has already outstripped that of her mentor. “Jon worked really hard to try to be nonpartisan,” says Bee. “It was important to him. But for me, a fatigue sets in. You just see the same patterns repeating themselves. I don’t care that much about being nonpartisan. Now that I have my own show, I get to say what’s in my heart.”

These days her heart is fearful of a Trump presidency. “It was funnier when they were all on that stage,” she says of the Republican-primary candidates. “Now that

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