Two of late-night’s renowned comedians shared a stage on Saturday night in New Jersey, opening up about the almost daily barrage of earth-shaking political news.
When Colbert recounted how an already-delivered monologue had to be hastily rewritten the day FBI director James Comey was fired, Bee replied, “You just felt like that gut punch, that happens every day. Insane. It happens to all of us… we are all getting socked in the stomach, all day.”
The alumni of The Daily Show spoke to an audience at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center for Montclair Film’s annual fundraiser for Montclair Film Festival. (Colbert’s wife, Evelyn, is president of the group’s board.)
The pair have both been openly critical of Trump, and did not hold back on Saturday night.
When Colbert asked Bee, the host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, if the presidency is “better or worse” than she imagined, she replied, “So much worse. I could not have imagined this.”
Colbert agreed and said with seriousness that the administration is also “dismantling the institutions necessary for stability” around the world.
The talk, however, was not all politics. Colbert segued into the recent deluge of sexual harassment and assault charges against a slew of powerful men, saying, “Guys are getting busted for whipping out their d—-.”
Bee replied that while “it is a tsunami of penises,” it’s “not surprising probably to most women I know.”
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“I mean the button under his desk?” said Bee, referring to reports that Lauer’s office had a button to remotely lock his doors from his desk. “I wish I had a button under my desk, and sexual harassers would just like fall, slide into a pit of crocodiles.”
The hosts also spoke of their careers on The Daily Show, as Bee reminisced about her life doing sketch comedy in Toronto and working at an advertising agency before she got her big break as a correspondent on the show in 2003.
“I was literally two weeks away from giving up comedy forever,” she recalled.
In the last year, both Colbert and Bee traveled to Russia for their shows. Bee meet with Russian trolls — reportedly responsible for spreading much of the fake political news on websites and social media.
“One was a mom with two kids,” Bee said. The woman told Bee that she would “come on Facebook all the time and pose as a housewife from Philadelphia and talk about Hillary Clinton and what a b—- she is,” said Bee. “It was incredible.”
Both hosts urged the audience not to become discouraged, to keep up activism with marches and get involved with their local communities.
Local organizations, such as Montclair Film, said Colbert, are “part of the answer” to healing a “broken and broken-hearted country right now.”
“It is the way our country will endure,” he said, “through community events like this, where we all come together.”