And they don’t tip. They dont. They never do.

Samantha Bee and Jo Miller were on Fresh Air yesterday; it was good.

An excerpt:

Jo Miller is the head writer and showrunner.

GROSS: Let’s get back to, Jo, your work studying medieval Jewish history and planning to become a history teacher or a history professor. Was there a part of you thinking, what I really want to do is comedy, but I can’t do that…


GROSS: …I can’t become a comedian or a comic writer, so I’d better just keep to history?

MILLER: Yes. Yes.

GROSS: Why did you think that?

MILLER: Because I’m a girl.


MILLER: I hate myself like girls do. That’s exactly why. I was in – well, when Lizz Winstead started “The Daily Show” in 1996, and I was watching it from day one. And I had these little fantasies of going to work for Lizz Winstead. But that’s all it was, was a fantasy. I later did work for Lizz Winstead on “Wake Up World,” and she taught me so much. She’s a wonderful person.

When I was at “The Daily Show,” we would have interns, college kids every semester. And at the end, they would gather in the writers lounge and – to ask us questions. And we’d ask them questions about what they wanted to do. They’d be half men, half women. And if you – we’d ask them, do you want to be a writer? And go down the line. And the men would all say, yeah. I’m going to be a writer. I’m Jake (ph). I’m going to be a writer. I’m Carl (ph). I’m going to write. And the women would say, I’m Amanda. You know, maybe some day. I don’t know. I’m not good enough.

BEE: We’ll see. I mean…

MILLER: I’d like to. We’ll see.

BEE: …I don’t know. I might go into teaching.

MILLER: Yeah. And finally, one day I just had a meltdown. You know, somewhere between the unearned confidence of the men and the unjustified self-censorship of the women is the truth lies. Yes. Donna (ph), you were good enough. You just started. Do it, and you’ll get good. But – and we plucked some – our best writers out of other fields, like, you know, journalism, the best writers at “The Daily Show” like Tim Carvell, who’s running John Oliver’s show came from journalism.

And that’s – we’re not – the women are out there doing journalism, doing academics, doing social work, doing lawyer stuff. And we just have to find them because they’re sitting there like I was sitting in Ithaca going, I suck. Boy, it’d be fun to write for “The Daily Show” if I didn’t suck.


MILLER: They’re out there.


MILLER: It seems like a very far away dream.

BEE: Yes. It seems like a very far away dream.

MILLER: All the grad students who are listening – because every grad student in the world listens to this show, I know – try it. Put your stuff out on the internet. Put out YouTube videos. Put up – just put up your funny writings. Tweet funny things. Someone will find you.

GROSS: So, Sam, did you experience the kind of thing that Jo was talking about of thinking, like, I’m not good enough to actually be a comedian?

BEE: Oh, my God, of course. Oh, of course. I lived my whole life – I’ve been a fan of comedy and just like a very deep fan of comedy my entire life. But I never grew – I mean, I grew up in Canada, also. And, you know, comedy coming out of the United States is – it feels completely inaccessible.

I came to comedy very late in life for a comedy person – late 20s. It never occurred to me to do comedy in my entire life until someone literally forced me to do it – until friends who I’d worked on a play with needed to replace a woman in their sketch troupe, and they forced me to say yes to them and assured me that I would love it. And they were correct to do so, and I did love it. And it really changed the direction of my life. But – and I found that I was quite good at it, but someone had to force me into it.

MILLER: Maybe we need conscription if we introduced a draft.

BEE: Yeah (laughter).

MILLER: Force women into – because you and I were career waitresses.

BEE: Oh, yes. Oh, God, definitely.

GROSS: What kind of restaurants?

MILLER: Terrible ones.

BEE: Oh, God. I worked at pan – I worked on an all-night pancake house for a really long time and a terrible cockroach-infested seafood restaurant. I worked at a place where I had to wear a nametag. Aw, I don’t think it exists anymore. It was called Joe Badali’s in Toronto. And I had to wear a nametag that said Samantha Badali. I still have it.

GROSS: (Laughter).

MILLER: Wait. Like, you we’re all sister wives…

BEE: Every – we were all sister wives.

MILLER: …Or something?

BEE: Yeah. We were all…

MILLER: OK. That’s creepy.

BEE: …Joe’s wives – Joe’s concubines.

GROSS: Do you still have the waiter nightmares?

BEE: I still have waiter – I will never not have waiter nightmares.

MILLER: Yeah, still have them.

BEE: I honestly think that part of my very visceral reaction to Donald Trump is because I served so many people in the restaurant who were just like him. I have PTSD from it.

MILLER: Yeah. I worked in Washington.

GROSS: What do you mean when you say that? What are you picking up on?

MILLER: Douchey (ph).

BEE: A man in a suit – an arrogant business person in a suit.

MILLER: Oh, God, doing wine service for them…

BEE: Doing wine service.

MILLER: …Is the worst.

BEE: The man who is at the head of the table who says, if you give us good service tonight, I’ll give you a pretty sweet tip. Give us extra special service. I mean, that is…

MILLER: Hey, toots, right?

BEE: Yeah. It – its in my DNA (laughter).

MILLER: What do you like on the menu?

BEE: Oh (laughter). Do you serve grouper?


BEE: And they don’t tip. They dont. They never do.

MILLER: They don’t because nobody can see them signing the bill. So they’ll make a big, you know, show of taking the bill…

BEE: There’s a showmanship to it.

MILLER: …And put your 6 percent down.

BEE: The tip is very lean.

That’s good to know. It’s not at all surprising, but it’s good to know. Trump is like the most obnoxious kind of business bro who is annoying to the wait staff. Well of course he is.

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