Samantha Bee (born October 25, 1969) is a Canadian comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, media critic, and television host. She is best known for being a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she became the longest-serving regular correspondent. In 2015, she departed the show after 12 years to start her own show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Early life and education
Samantha Bee was born in Toronto, Ontario, and has said of her family: "Dating from well before the turn of the 20th century, if there has ever been a successful, happy marriage in my family lineage, I've yet to hear about it." Bee's parents split up soon after her birth, and she was initially raised by her grandmother, who worked as a secretary at the Catholic school Bee attended, on Roncesvalles Avenue during her childhood. She attended Humberside Collegiate Institute and York Memorial Collegiate Institute.
After graduating from high school, Bee attended McGill University, where she studied humanities. Dissatisfied with a range of issues at the school, she transferred to the University of Ottawa after her first year. Bee later enrolled in the George Brown Theatre School in Toronto.
Bee then became a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on July 10, 2003. On that program, Bee demonstrated an ability to coax people into caricaturing themselves—particularly in segments like "Kill Drill", on hunters and fossil fuel executives claiming to be environmentalists; "They So Horny", on the dearth of Asian men in U.S. pornography; "Tropical Repression", on Ed Heeney, a Florida politician running his campaign based on opposition to gay rights; "The Undecided", an over-the-top look at the infamous undecided voters leading up to the 2004 U.S. presidential elections; the "Samantha Bee's So You Want To Bee A..." report series, which humorously caricatured the way in which one can easily obtain a certain job, like becoming a 527 group; and a segment entitled "NILFs" ("News I'd Like to F#@k"), discussing the sexiness of news anchors: "CNN has the wholesome girl-next-door NILFs, the kind you can bring home to meet your mother. MSNBC has the dirty-over-30 NILFs. Fox has the filthy NILFs who will report anything. They're the Hustler of NILFs."
Bee played the title role in a live action production of Sailor Moon at the Canadian National Exhibition and has had guest appearances on several television shows. She had her first starring role in a feature film in 2004 with the Canadian independent film Ham & Cheese, alongside veteran Canadian comics Scott Thompson and Dave Foley.
In December 2005, on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly used a clip of Bee from The Daily Show as an example of "The War on Christmas", presenting it as having aired recently. The satirical clip featured Bee mentioning how Christmas was the only religious holiday that's also a federal holiday in the United States, with O'Reilly talking about "Secular Central...excuse me, Comedy Central". Jon Stewart discussed this on the air, claiming he could not recall doing that piece. Stewart invited Bee out, and unlike in the clip that aired on Factor, Bee was visibly eight months pregnant. Though the two were coy insofar as explicitly mentioning her pregnancy, Bee joked it was obvious that the footage O'Reilly showed was a year old (it originally aired in 2004) because she had slightly different highlights in her hair, before stating that her water had just broken.
Bee was the sole female correspondent on The Daily Show from her debut in 2003 until Kristen Schaal joined the show in March 2008. She was The Daily Show's first non-US citizen correspondent. Bee was recognized with a 2005 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female TV Performance for her work on The Daily Show. In 2009, she appeared in the original cast of Love, Loss, and What I Wore. That same year, she had a cameo role in the comedy Whatever Works, written and directed by Woody Allen.
In March 2015, it was announced that she would leave The Daily Show to host her own satirical news show on TBS. Bee departed The Daily Show on April 30, 2015. Her new show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, debuted on February 8, 2016. Bee got into trouble on the show in March 2017 for mocking the "Nazi haircut" of Kyle Coddington, a man with brain cancer who had attended CPAC.
On January 20, 2008, Bee finished as the highest scoring celebrity in the CBC game show Test The Nation. She had a minor role in Episode 15, "Spy Something or Get Out", of Little Mosque on the Prairie. Bee also appeared in the 12th episode of Season 20 of Law & Order ("Blackmail", episode 445), which aired on January 15, 2010. She played a minor role on an episode of the HBO series Bored to Death.
Bee appeared as herself on the "Madame President" episode of The Electric Company, in which she moderated a debate between two candidates Lisa Heffenbacher and Francine Carruthers running for president of a book club. Later in the show, she appeared as a newscaster announcing the election results, finally choosing Lisa to be the winner.
Bee also did a guest voice role of a talk show hostess named Pam in the Season 2 finale of Bob's Burgers, in addition to providing the voice for Lyla Lolliberry for two episodes in Season 4 of Phineas and Ferb. She appeared on Sesame Street during Season 42 as Mother Goose.
Married to actor and fellow Daily Show cast member Jason Jones since 2001, Bee lives in Manhattan, New York. In late 2005, Jones became a freelance Daily Show correspondent while Bee reduced her workload due to her pregnancy. In January 2006, she gave birth to Piper Bee-Jones. Bee returned to The Daily Show in March 2006.
On January 24, 2008, Bee announced a second pregnancy on air during a bit about the media's coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign. In 2008, their second child, Fletcher Bee-Jones, was born.
In an interview with Kate Fillion in Maclean's magazine (June 7, 2010), Bee said: "I'm pregnant with my third child." She had previously told the Globe and Mail on May 14, 2010 that she and Jones were "just procreating like we're farmers". This was then referenced on the June 3, 2010 episode of the Daily Show, where they made a point of humorously pointing out Bee's third pregnancy "in two years". During Olivia Munn's first report, she referred to Bee as the "always pregnant lady", and Bee and Jones joked about attempting to conceive a fourth child even before the third was born. Their third child, a daughter named Ripley, was born in late 2010, and Bee was scheduled to return to television in November.
In a 2011 interview, Bee said that neither she nor Jones had yet pursued American citizenship but would like to, for their American-born children's benefit. When she and Jones co-hosted The Daily Show on October 7, 2014, they mentioned having recently become U.S. citizens.
- America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction (Warner Books, September 2004) ISBN 0-446-53268-1
- Bee, Samantha (2010). I Know I Am, But What Are You?. Gallery Books. ISBN 978-1439142738.
Awards and nominations
|2005||Canadian Comedy Award||Film – Pretty Funny Performance – Female||Ham & Cheese||Nominated|
|2005||Canadian Comedy Award||Television – Pretty Funny Female Performance||The Daily Show||Won|
|2009||Canadian Comedy Award||Best Performance by a Female – Film||Coopers' Camera||Won|
|2012||Canadian Comedy Award||Best Performance by a Female – Television||Good God||Nominated|
|2013||Canadian Screen Award||Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series||Good God||Nominated|