I've watched the post-Jon Stewart The Daily Show with Trevor Noah a few time. It seems well-done, but (for my taste) hasn't found its full footing yet. Better is when I come across a specific standalone segment that that leaps out. But for those lamenting the previous incarnation of the show, I'm happy to say that it still sort of does exist.
It's not on Comedy Central, though, but TBS. And it's Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
To be fair, there's also Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, but since it's on HBO it's not as accessible to the public who want to get their television premium-free. Also to be fair, both of these shows are only on once a week, so they have a longer time to hone their work, and not have to come up with 30 minutes every night. So, I'm not making a fair comparison. Just saying that if you liked The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and haven't checked out Full Frontal, do yourself a favor.
Not everything works, but so much of it does. And when it does work, it's with bravado. Samantha Bee and her writers are fairly brazen in their blunt attitudes, and she has such a charming way about her that she can get away with her outrage. She also has pretty good "correspondents" for some of the shows on-location pieces, though it's always at its best when Ms. Bee herself handles the interviewing. Furthermore, like The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight at their best, even when Full Frontal is getting big laughs, it often is doing so in a piece that's substantive.
This week's show was a prime example. It was tremendous. The focus was on Trump and white supremacists (which they did in two scathing parts), along with a terrific interview in Russia that Samantha Bee did with a couple of "online trolls" talking openly (though with their faces covered) about their efforts to corrupt online discussions under false guises. It's very funny, but ghastly. That was plenty enough for one show, yet it concluded with yet another interview by Samantha Bee with none other than President Obama. It wasn't terribly substantive, but even in its light-heartedness touches on some worthwhile issues. (At one point, she cracks the president up, asking him to explain to her as if she was a millenial about why it's important to vote -- yet as she asks her question, she goes into character as a whiny millenial and her question gets more and more long-winded.)
I think this week's episode gets repeated on Saturday, but you can watch the whole thing here online.
If you don't have 22 minutes right now, though, here's a wonderful piece the show did about a theory they came up with that many people are saying, many people, they've read many people saying it. And they present their evidence to prove it...
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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