In the cold open of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,” her new weekly show Mondays on TBS, Ms. Bee addressed the elephant in the man cave.
The most important thing about the first episode of a political comedy show is to set a tone, and Ms. Bee’s was fiery and fierce – the acid delivery, cut with a touch of Canadian syrup, she honed as a correspondent on “The Daily Show.”.
Donald J. Trump was “An oddly tinted compilation of psychiatric symptoms” and a “Sentient ‘caps lock’ button.” And Marco Rubio’s assertion that Hillary Clinton supported abortion until a pregnant woman’s due date was “The stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” Mr. Rubio, Ms. Bee joked, was implying that Mrs. Clinton wanted to deliver babies “Directly into a Vitamix so that Planned Parenthood can sell it to Whole Foods.”
Ms. Bee’s feminist perspective showed in the angles that she took – a reel of past election moments included Barack Obama in a 2008 debate, telling Mrs. Clinton she was “Likable enough” – and in the stories she highlighted, like a Kansas state senator who established a dress code for women testifying before his committee.
“Full Frontal” is TV’s latest answer to the multiple-choice question: Who, if anyone, will be the next Jon Stewart? Ms. Bee is one of many “Daily Show” alumni on the nighttime circuit: Stephen Colbert on CBS, John Oliver on HBO, Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central.
At 46, Ms. Bee is also generationally between the many millennial women who support Mr. Sanders and second-wave feminists like Gloria Steinem, who are urging solidarity with Mrs. Clinton.
Ms. Bee referred to that divide, too, imagining Mrs. Clinton telling young women to “Enjoy the breast-pump rooms and maiden names that I won them with my pain.”