EXCLUSIVE: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has had to return to its pandemic roots after its host contracted Covid.
Bee tested positive for the virus meaning that the TBS show has had to leave the studio and return to Bee’s backyard woods in upstate New York to finish its final episode before heading off for a summer break.
The former Daily Show correspondent told Deadline that she’s feeling fine and only has a mild case but she wanted to plunder through in order to finish an episode centered around abortion rights ahead of the expected Supreme Court ruling.
The Court is expected to rule on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – a Mississippi case that could ostensibly overturn Roe v. Wade – any day now. Such a ruling would mean that the legal status of abortion would be left for individual states to decide and it could become illegal in around half of the country, particularly in the South and Midwest.
“We worked so hard on the show. We really wanted to meet this moment, because who knows what’s going come?,” she said.
As a result of Covid, Bee and her team, which includes showrunner Alison Camillo, were not able to shoot in their new studio in Norwalk, Connecticut so Bee went back to her house, where she had shot her show through much of the pandemic with the help of her husband Jason Jones.
Bee is the latest late-night host to have to pivot as a result of Covid – she joins the likes of Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and James Corden, who have all had to shift their shows after testing positive.
Having faced woodchippers and leafblowers over the last couple of years, this time Bee faced another element: rain. “It rained all. When we had to go into the woods at the beginning of the pandemic were so attentive to the weather. But today, we thought it’s now or never and it poured. I think you’ll be able to see rain in the show,” she added. “My husband is incredible at this stuff and we have kind of overhang downstairs in our house, so it’s a pretty convenient spot. We built a fire down there and put some lights up just like the old days and filmed the show. I didn’t want to let all that good work go to waste.”
The good work that Bee’s referring to is a field piece that sees her plot a new theory to help get around the fact that abortion will be outlawed in much of the country.
She takes to Yellowstone National Park – filmed before the devastating floods – to set up her own Lemonade-stand abortion clinic. She is joined by Rachel Rebouché is a Professor of Law at Temple University, who has come up with a plan that federal enclaves, such as Yellowstone, which unlike the States are controlled by the federal government, and Dr. Giovannina Anthony, one of Wyoming’s only abortion providers (see below).