This is how Samantha Bee comes up with her viral skits

Samantha Bee is known to tackle racism, sexism, and other sensitive topics head-on.
(Image credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Turner)

Samantha Bee stormed onto the late night comedy scene and has taken no prisoners with her signature and undiscriminating outrage. Part of her success — Full Frontal has twice as many viewers as The Daily Show — certainly comes from her writers' room. Thanks to a blind application process, Bee ended up with a team that was 50 percent female, 30 percent nonwhite, and entirely unafraid of taking sexism and racism head-on.

In a recent profile of Bee, Rolling Stone offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what Full Frontal's writing room looks like when it's firing on all cylinders. The writers, including Jo Miller and Bee's husband, Jason Jones, were working with a clip from last July, in which Rep. Keith Ellison warned a panel that Trump could get enough momentum to be a political threat. "I know you don't believe that," George Stephanopoulos had mocked while The New York Times' Maggie Haberman blurted, "Sorry to laugh!"

Then Bee's team got to work:

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"Hahahahahaha," Bee had guffawed in rehearsal, addressing the pundits frozen on the screen behind her. "Not as sorry as you'll be in 12 months.""I don't know, I think we need a more outraged sentiment here," says Jones. "'It's your job to prognosticate. You're f--king terrible!'""'It's funny 'cause we're white'?" Miller tries. "'Hahaha, you suck at your job'?""'Hahaha, you could've helped to make this a reality that didn't happen,'" suggests Bee. "'You could've stopped this, hahaha.'"A woman sitting next to Bee says, "They give him so much f--king coverage.""'Hahaha, we've given him 20 million in free advertising,'" Jones throws out."No, how many billions has it been?" asks Miller. She types on her laptop. "Two billion. New York Times. That's in March!" She types more. "It's $3 billion now." She pauses. "'Hahaha, that'll never happen unless people like you give him $3 billion in free advertising!'" Bee narrows her eyes and nods. [Rolling Stone]

Read more about Bee's incredible ascent — and her humble beginnings in a traveling adaption of the anime series Sailor Moon — over at Rolling Stone.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.