The TBS late-night comedy show Full Frontal, hosted by comedienne Samantha Bee, has been canceled according to Variety and other media sources. Variety explains that the cancellation was part of a general cutback by networks on late-night programming. The ratings say it was because no one was watching.
When more people watch a CNN news show than a supposed “entertainment” program, the writing should be on the wall.
But there appears to be a concerted effort by TBS and Warner not to embarrass the unfunny comedienne by saying the reason for the cancellation was the sound of crickets chirping out in TV land instead of viewers laughing.
“As we continue to shape our new programming strategy, we’ve made some difficult, business-based decisions,” TBS said in a statement. “We are proud to have been the home to ‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee’ and thank Sam, and the rest of the Emmy-nominated team for their groundbreaking work. We celebrate this extraordinarily talented cast and crew and look forward to exploring new opportunities to work with them in the future.”
If they were so talented, why wasn’t anyone watching? The answer is simple; comedy isn’t what it used to be. Very few people who aren’t radical leftists enjoy being insulted and denigrated for their political views, in their lifestyle choices, and in their religious beliefs. But that’s what passes for comedy in America in 2022.
The end of her program comes as TV continues to trim back its late-night antics. WarnerMedia decided to end its long-running “Conan” late-night program on TBS with Conan O’Brien in June of last year. NBC and the late-night host Lilly Singh, a digital entertainment influencer who had launched a new show on the network in the wee hours of the morning, decided to part ways last year. Comedy Central, which once boasted three different late-night shows, now only has one, “The Daily Show,” on regularly during weeknights. Showtime’s “Desus & Mero,” a weekly humor showcase, isn’t returning to Showtime thanks to a fallout between its hosts. And CBS is mulling cheaper alternatives to replace James Corden when he leaves “The Late Late Show” in early 2023.
Younger audiences seem to enjoy the mean-spirited, sneering, sarcastic digs at the uncoastal. It’s all about validating their worldview. When Samantha Bee referred to Ivanka Trump as a “feckless c—” on her show in 2018 in a segment about the administration’s policies on immigration, she was amazed at the backlash. She thought it was funny.
She addressed the incident at the beginning of her TBS late-night show and acknowledged that she had “crossed a line.”
“It is a word I have used on the show many times, hoping to reclaim it,” Bee said. “This time I used it as an insult. I crossed the line. I regret it, and I do apologize for that.”
She said the “joke” had distracted viewers from the issue of illegal aliens.
“I should’ve known that a potty-mouthed insult would be inherently more interesting to them than juvenile-immigration policies. I would do anything to help those kids. I hate that this distracted from them. To them, I am also sorry,” she said. “I don’t want to inflict more pain on them.”
That she offended anyone was immaterial to her. It’s the politics that mattered. And the politics of using a barnyard epithet to describe an extraordinarily accomplished woman like Ivanka Trump only showed the depths of her ignorance and hypocrisy.
Samantha Bee will find her way to another venue where she can use her potty-mouth to her heart’s content. Whether anyone will be watching is another story.