Daily Show's Bee pokes fun at her Toronto roots
Samantha Bee's I Know I Am, But What are You is a collection of funny stories about her childhood and youth. Just don't call it a memoir.
"I don't feel like I've accomplished the kind of things that is deserving of the term memoir," The Daily Show correspondent said in an interview on CBC's Q cultural affairs show.
"When I've united the two Koreas, I'll write a memoir."
Bee is joking — the Toronto-raised actress is nearly always joking. She is known for her ability to get people to say sometimes silly, often embarrassing, things on camera for the late-night comedy show.
In her non-memoir, Bee describes herself as taking a somewhat "meandering" path into show business, in order to avoid becoming a lawyer.
Her success in landing a part in a hit like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart seems a fluke, she said.
"I wish I could say it was part of the master plan," she said. "I just wanted to be a working actor, that's all I really wanted, so to be on my favourite show was an incredible opportunity — it was a bit of a miracle."
Bee is candid about her childhood, describing herself as a "weird kid" who grew up with a Wiccan mother and her mother's boyfriend in a huge Toronto house.
She said her personality would change completely when she was with her father and his more conservative wife.
"I wanted to please everyone, so my personality would shift. When I was with my grandmother was probably the closest I came to my natural state."
I Know I Am But What Are You describes her crush on Jesus ("he looks like Kris Kristofferson"), her job in an erectile dysfunction clinic, and her wild teen years.
"I never learned to stand up for myself. Men would invite me over after a concert, and I'd think, 'That's a good idea. I should go to this man's basement apartment and play the flute for him," she said.
At the same time, she was conscious of academics, and did well in school
"In every way, I looked like a good girl, and I achieved at school, so I could do whatever I wanted when no one was watching."
Bee said she's comfortable with poking fun at her own upbringing, and her family is also on board.
"I intended the book to be humorous. I did my best. It was not a therapy session on any level."
Bee met her husband, comedy writer Jason Jones, while doing a Sailor Moon show at the CNE. She and Jones made the film Cooper's Camera together and are also collaborating on a new TV series. She is currently expecting her third child.