In this strange, disturbing post-truth world we’re living in now that Donald Trump has officially been elected president, there are at least two things we know to be true: Millions of people are thrilled by the election’s outcome, and millions of people are horrified by it.
That horrified group in particular, because it contains people on both sides of the aisle, has left some establishment Democrats and Republicans simultaneously terrified and confused. Few of them ever expected to share the same feelings as those across party lines, and must now come to terms with finding themselves in the same big boat.
It’s this situation that brought Full Frontal host Samantha Bee and conservative pundit Glenn Beck together on December 19, during Bee’s last episode of Full Frontal in 2016. She and Beck sat down — in festive Christmas sweaters, no less — to have a frank discussion about their roles in the media, how to bring people together under the Trump administration, and to what degree we might all be screwed.
“My audience hates your guts,” Beck admitted to Bee.
“My audience will want to kill me for normalizing a lunatic like yourself,” she countered. She also said that no matter how much Beck tries to sow reason among his followers and take back the extreme things he’s said — like calling President Obama a racist — he’s done enough to warrant “permanent side-eye” from the liberals watching her show.
When Beck then asked Bee why she would even have him on the show, she was blunt.
“I think our future is going to require a broad coalition of nonpartisan decency,” she said. “I don’t think it’s individual people against Donald Trump. I think it’s all of us against Trumpism.”
Beck, for his part, said he agreed to come on the show because he believed Bee “actually [doesn’t] want to do damage.” And, he added, “I don’t want to do more damage. I know what I did. I helped divide.”
And then, in a twist you might recognize from literally every James Bond movie, this seemingly mismatched meeting of the minds veered into the classic hero/villain, “we’re not so different, you and I” routine.
As Beck confirmed that he’s still “a catastrophist,” he told Bee that she was exhibiting similar behavior.
“I hate to break it to you,” he told her, “but you’ve adopted a lot of my ‘catastrophe traits.’ ... Do you believe there’s a chance we fall into a dictatorship under Donald Trump? Do you believe there’s a chance we lose our freedom of speech and press under this president?”
The answer to both questions, Bee admitted, is yes.
“This had honestly been,” she mused in voiceover, “one of the strangest days I’d ever had” — a difficult conclusion to deny, given that she and Beck ended their discussion by somberly and literally eating each other’s heads, as rendered in delicious cake form.
And, hey, why not? There’s no real script for this kind of meeting, which flies in the face of our polarized society’s established logic. If cake shaped like previously sworn enemies and current strange bedfellows can’t bring people together, what can?
You can watch the full clip above. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee will return on Wednesday nights in early 2017.