+
Most Shared

Samantha Bee hasn't given up on America. Here's what's keeping her hopeful.

Over the weekend, Samantha Bee stopped by Ozy Fest in New York's Central Park to talk about running for office ("Never! God, no!"), creating an internship program for female ex-convicts, and the restorative power of connecting with other people.

Upworthy caught up with Bee to ask how she balances being late night's most formidable player with the increasingly challenging task of staying hopeful and optimistic.


(This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.)

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Ozy Fest 2017.

Upworthy (UP): Speaking not as the host of "Full Frontal" but as a person who has to work in news every day, how’re you holding up?

Samantha Bee (SB): Terrible! Terribly! How are you holding up?

UP: I’m doing pretty good.

SB: Oh, you are? OK. OK.

UP: How are you coping with things?

SB: I don’t think very well. I mean, as a citizen of this country, I’m reasonably worried. The news is coming at us pretty fast. Still, I’m trying to lead a happy life.

UP: You were at "The Daily Show" when Jon Stewart left. He gave an interview around that time in which he said, "I’m in a constant state of depression. I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds, hopefully I don’t get turd lung disease." Are you getting turd lung disease?

SB:[laughs] Oh my gosh. I forgot that he said that! I’m totally getting turd lung disease. Yeah, I have that. I’m getting turd COPD.

UP: So what do you do to manage that, to draw boundaries around that?

SB: Well, the one thing — this doesn’t really make it totally better, but — we only make a show once a week. So we do get a tiny pause at the weekend. I mean, news never stops. There’s no getting around it. But at least we have a little bit of space between shows to breathe for a half second. And I get to go off and travel around and do things that get me really excited.

We have a bunch of pieces coming up where I went to — [laughs] as the words are coming out of my mouth, I’m like "What am I talking about?" But I went to Iraq, and that actually gave me great joy! [laughs] So we’re gonna roll out the Iraq pieces in the next couple of weeks, and that type of thing makes me, I love going out. The freedom to go out in the world does make it a little easier.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TBS.

UP: Do you find that looking people in the eyes is a little bit better than reading about it in the news and hearing it recorded?

SB: A hundred percent. Yeah.

UP: What do you think is the value of that connection?

SB: I mean, just learning on the ground. I don’t think it’s just valuable from a news perspective. It’s just a good exercise as a human being, to go somewhere else and check out the scene.

UP: A lot of people are struggling with this feeling of being fatigued. But on your show, you encourage civic responsibility and you encourage people to stay engaged.

SB: It’s hard to do. People do get fatigued. I did have a feeling that once the warm weather hit, people would lose that feeling of fervor but I actually don’t think they did. I don’t think people are slowing down. When I see that, it does lift my spirit. I love it. Killing that health care bill — it felt good. Those small victories.

UP: The Democrats are having a pretty hard time coming up with a slogan to unite the party. If that was your responsibility, what would you write?

SB: Oh my gosh. I don’t know what I would write. I’m afraid to say anything because I’m afraid they’ll use it. I’m sure they’ll land on something. In 2019.

UP: Obviously the script of your show is very sarcastic, but you seem to be less jaded than most. How do you stay hopeful?

SB: You know, just that. Meeting people, witnessing people’s engagement — they really care. They’re very alive. That makes me feel hopeful. And if that’s all we have to feel hopeful about — that’s actually a lot.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less