As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, disrupting industries and changing the way Americans work and interact with one another, the entertainment industry has found new ways to keep shows running while still practicing social distancing and self-isolation. This week, as part of the “Rolling Stone Interview: Special Edition” video series, comedian and late-night host Samantha Bee spoke with Rolling Stone senior writer Alex Morris about how her own production process has adapted to life during the coronavirus,
“It looks like the Blair Witch Project,” Bee says, referring to where she’s now shooting her Emmy-award winning late-night satire show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. The comedian’s last studio show aired on March 11th. Bee also recounts that final day in the studio. “They started to shut our building down around us, and we were actually taping when they learned that someone in the building had tested positive for coronavirus. So they were evacuating floors of the studio building that we were in. When we finished taping, they were like, ‘Get out!’”
The comedian’s last three shows have been made in the woods behind her home, with the help of her husband and kids. “Essentially, we’re making a broadcast-quality show on an iPhone.”
Bee also shares where she’s finding comfort these days: Playing Dolly Parton for her kids. “Sometimes we just go for a drive, since there’s nowhere to really go, and we just go in the car, and everyone sings along to ‘9 to 5’ and ‘Islands in the Stream’.” She adds: “We were not doing that a month ago. That’s a very positive development.”
This is the third installment of Rolling Stone’s latest new video series, “RS Interview: Special Edition,” featuring in-depth conversations with notable figures in music, entertainment and politics. New episodes premiere every Thursday afternoon on Rolling Stone’s YouTube channel.