It’s understandable if you don’t know quite how to feel about the latest mass shooting in America, a deeply horrifying event during which a man killed almost 50 people at an Orlando gay club during pride month on June 12.
But when Samantha Bee had to film a new episode of her show Full Frontal less than 48 hours afterward, the emotion she chose to express was anger.
The late-night host stood on her stage in exhausted fury. "Hey, is it okay if instead of making jokes, I just scream for seven minutes?" she asked the audience, before delivering a blistering monologue on gun laws, complacency, and the inexcusable new normal of mass shootings in the United States.
While most late-night hosts tend to stick with somber respect when addressing something horrific, Bee stayed true to the tone she’s set throughout the first season of Full Frontal by unleashing without restraint:
After a massacre, the standard operating procedure is that you stand on stage and deliver some well-meaning words about how we will get through this together, how love conquers hate. And that is great! That is beautiful.
But you know what? Fuck it. I am too angry for that. Love does not win until we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems.
From there, Bee was off, though she focused less on potential reasons for this particular tragedy (and how it targeted patrons of an LGBTQ club), and more on just how many mass shootings continue to occur in America.
Even by Bee’s own reliably furious standards, the segment is scorching — and she's the only late-night host who would have done something like this with quite so much unabashed rage.
She pointed out just how easy it was for the Orlando shooter to buy an assault rifle despite a documented history of abuse and questions about his possible ties to terrorism.
She called out Florida Gov. Rick Scott for shrugging at gun control and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for saying that the shooting "could have happened anywhere in the world" and that "unfortunately, today was Orlando's turn," displaying obvious disgust. ("Mass shootings are so normalized now that we’re taking turns?")
She questioned the usefulness of offering "thoughts and prayers" without accompanying action.
But she was perhaps most effective when she preemptively addressed the criticism she might receive in response. "‘Sam Bee wants to take your guns away,’" Bee faux-whined, before turning serious. "Yes. The ones that mow down a room full of people in seconds? Yes, I do want to take those guns away."