The Single Worst Snub of the 2016 Emmy Nominations Was ‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee'
One can quibble with parts of the 2016 Emmy nominations list, depending on personal taste. Where's Rachel Bloom, or her delightful show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? How did Cuba Gooding Jr. get nominated for giving arguably the worst performance in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson?
But there's one snub so patently incorrect it's impossible to ignore: How the hell did Samantha Bee's Full Frontal not get nominated for variety talk series?
The six nominees include usual suspects Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Real Time With Bill Maher and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which aren't going anywhere. There's the incredibly deserving Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Then there's The Late Late Show With James Corden, which is basically just a nomination for "Carpool Karaoke." Even Jerry Seinfeld's web series got nominated.
The result is a blindingly white, exceedingly male crop of nominees that somehow excludes the only two late-night shows with hosts of color (Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore), and Bee's show. Considering the conversations about diversity in late night over the last few years, this pool of nominees feels particularly egregious.
Bee's snub stands out because she is quite possibly the best host in late night. In her tenure so far, Bee has coined a joyful, fresh brand of satire on Full Frontal, slicing and dicing her political opposites with aplomb. During an absurd election season that her former home The Daily Show has struggled to get a handle on, Bee's show is a machine. Each joke is more cutting the last; their research and reporting are phenomenal in equal measure. She's given the format that John Oliver built at Last Week Tonight a powerful, unapologetic feminist spin.
Certainly, watching celebrities sing in cars is amusing, and Seinfeld has good chemistry with his guests. But The Late Late Show and Comedians in Cars are nowhere near the caliber of Full Frontal.
Yes, Bee's writing staff did get nominated for outstanding writing. That's a great nod, and it should win that category. But not picking up an equivalent nod for variety talk series is an embarrassing mistake on the voters' part — one they best rectify next year. Otherwise, they risk missing having one of the funniest people on TV setting her sights on them.