“I know exactly how to get an audience’s attention in 2018,” Samantha Bee says pluckily.
She’s in a 1984 Russian car, it’s tiny, ugly, and a relic of the Soviet era – “the Vladimir Putin of obvious car metaphors!” she enthuses as she begins driving around Manhattan with Russian dissident and Friend of Show Masha Gessen.
“What’s the deal with democracy?” Bee asks, doing her best – which is to say not very good – Jerry Seinfeld imitation for a segment called Comedians in Cars with Dissidents Getting Coffee.
Democracy is very bad now, Gessen says, what with Trump continuing to pull us out of international institutions and treaties, blanket detentions, and a “denaturalization task force” in place.
The Obama administration laid the groundwork for DTF, Gessen scolds, looking for people who have done nothing to draw attention to themselves but have something in their past that will allow the government to eject them from the country.
Gessen advises Bee, who is Canadian by birth, to “stay blonde”; Bee pulls out a flask, exposing fact she isn’t driving, and car is on a flatbed truck driven by Jerry’s former Seinfeld co-star Jason Alexander:
“Hi!. I’m Jason Alexander; and this is Actors in Truck Towing Comedians With Dissidents in Cars Getting Coffee.”
Back in the car, Gessen says journalism is not suited to handle Trump, noting she was asked on a news network if baby snatching was an effective immigration deterrent. When told that question was inappropriate, the journalist acknowledged that fact, adding, “But is it?”
Bee wishes there was something she could do, having already been badly bashed because of language she used on-air to try to shame First Daughter Ivanka into stepping up and talking Daddy out of that policy,.
“Did someone say karaoke?!” Alexander pops up from the back seat.
And so begins Public Domain Carpool Karaoke.
They sing a few snippets from patriotic public domain songs.
Do you think people will listen to us now? Is this exciting enough?” Bee snarks.
“It’s incredibly fortunate I’m a journalist,” Gessen concedes. “It gives me the illusion of doing something.”
“That’s nice,” Bee says. “My job is to turn tears of grief into yelling on TV.”