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More People Watched Wednesday’s Democratic Debate Than the Golden Globes

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If only Michael Bloomberg could have hosted the Golden Globes. Wednesday’s contentious Democratic presidential primary debate was watched by 20 million people across NBC and MSNBC, a record figure that topped the viewership numbers for both the 2020 Golden Globes (18.3 million) and the 2020 Grammys (18.7 million).

Not that anyone should be totally surprised. Interest in Wednesday’s Las Vegas-hosted showdown was goosed by the first debate stage appearance of Bloomberg, the former New York Mayor who entered the primary race at the 11th hour—and has spent more than $400 million thus far on his campaign, with most of that cost going toward advertising. The billionaire independent proved to be a strong foil for his contenders, especially Senator Elizabeth Warren, who dunked on Bloomberg early and often—to the delight of social media.

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump: I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said on Wednesday night, in the first of several scorching remarks. “Democrats aren’t going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk. … Understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”

Warren, who came into Wednesday trailing Bloomberg in many polls, also attacked the businessman for refusing to release women from non-disclosure agreements signed in the wake of sexual harassment settlements with Bloomberg’s company. “The question is, are the women bound and being muzzled by you?” Warren said. “This is not only a question about the mayor’s character; this is also a question of electability. We are not gonna beat Donald Trump with a man who has who knows how many nondisclosure agreements, and the drip drip drip of stories of women saying they have been harassed and discriminated against.”

But it wasn’t just Warren who had viewers engaged in the debate (though she did get the most buck for her bang: Warren’s campaign reported its biggest fundraising day ever in the wake of Wednesday’s event). Bloomberg himself also took a shot at Bernie Sanders‘ perceived wealth. “The best known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses,” Bloomberg said. (“Like thousands of other Vermonters, I do have a summer camp,” Sanders said in response. “Forgive me for that.”) The zinger was the top moment of the night on Twitter, according to the social media platform.

Now compare those fireworks to this year’s Golden Globes, which are remembered for … what, exactly? Ricky Gervais mocking Leonardo DiCaprio for dating younger women (“Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere [of The Irishman, and by the end, his date was too old for him”)? Eventual Oscar losers 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood winning best picture trophies? Or the Grammys, which … happened? Maybe? The only surprise here is that Wednesday’s debate didn’t top the Academy Awards, which dipped to its lowest ratings of all time despite some historic and audience-approved results. Not that we’ll have to wait very long to see if the Oscars’ ratings will fall at the feet of the 2020 Democratic primary as well: the next debate is set for Feb. 25, and will air on CBS and BET.

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair

— Why Eminem performed “Lose Yourself” at the 2020 Oscars
The Crown announces its new Queen Elizabeth II—and confirms its last season
— Legendary Oscar winner Lee Grant on the blacklist, sex, sexism, and the treatment of Renée Zellweger
— Hanging with Bill Murray on the set of Ghostbusters: Afterlife
— Inside the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party
— There’s a blank space at the center of Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana
— From the Archive: How director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite marched toward Oscar night—and changed everything along the way

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Samantha Bee on the Wonders (and Oddities) of Taping in Her Backyard

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“My cell phone doesn’t really work well out here,” Samantha Bee told Vanity Fair on Wednesday, explaining why she was on a landline handset that crackled every time she stepped too far from its base. She was speaking from the upstate New York property where she, husband Jason Jones, and their three children have improbably now filmed two episodes of her TBS late-night show Full Frontal With Samantha Bee in the backyard. (The second episode airs Wednesday night.) It’s TV production in the time of coronavirus pandemic. Said Bee, “It’s not ideal.”

“I mean, yesterday we had to hold shooting because someone was chainsawing logs in their backyard,” said Bee. “They definitely had felled a tree and were chopping it into, like, carrot coins. It was like they were operating a wood chipper back there.”

Bee normally has as many as 70 staffers helping her tape an episode. But these days, she’s working with her skeleton crew of five—with Jones, who is an executive producer on the show, filming from a phone, and her kids manning the equipment. Her kids’ compensation is…still being negotiated.

“My children definitely feel that they should be paid,” said Bee. “That’s a debate that’s raging in our household. And I don’t disagree. We have informed them that once normal life is restored in some capacity, we will buy them a present.”

In the meantime, Bee is doing her own hair, makeup, and wardrobe—and personally uploading the footage to send her staff once backyard filming wraps. “I’m definitely like, ‘Hey, kids, get off the internet. I have to upload massive files to people’s apartments in Brooklyn.’”

Filming outside is a somewhat risky endeavor, and Bee and Jones are trying to plan for unexpected weather patterns that could curtail production.

“We’re figuring out a plan for if it rains, because we want to be as in-the-moment as possible,” said Bee, explaining that she wouldn’t want to tape two days ahead of airing given the timeliness of her show’s subject matter. “We are now trying to figure out how we would do the show in a storm…. I’m also really praying for spring weather. Our backdrop will just look so much prettier when the trees start to come out, when there’s more greenery back there. Right now, it really does look like The Blair Witch Project.

As strange as the experience of filming a late-night show at home is, Bee said that it has been fulfilling for her and Jones, who previously collaborated as correspondents on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and as costars on multiple films.

“It’s a very interesting experience, as a couple and as constant collaborators,” said Bee. “Jason and I are having a good time working together, and figuring it out. He’s so good at just figuring out how to make a shot beautiful with very little. He really has an eye for it, and thank God. And we speak each other’s language, so we move quickly through it.”

When she isn’t filming, Bee has actually been trying to stay out of the news stream. “I can’t watch every presidential press conference because they are just pushing me into full derangement,” she said. “I feel the leadership vacuum, and it is critical. Boy, I will take inspiration from almost anybody now. I just need a person to stand on TV, and issue forthright words. I need it like I need oxygen. We all need it.”

Full Frontal has had to adapt so fast—just three weeks ago Bee was filming her last in-studio episode—that she is still, like the rest of the world, trying to adjust to the new normal.



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Watch Chance’s First Punk’d Trailer With Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, Offset

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Chance the Rapper is the host and executive producer of the Punk’d reboot, which arrives on April 6 via the streaming service Quibi. Today, the first trailer and clips have been released. Lil Nas X, Offset, Megan Thee Stallion, and Ty Dolla $ign are among the celebrities who get pranked. Watch the trailer and individual clips from the show below.

Chance recently appeared on the new G Herbo song “PTSD” alongside Lil Uzi Vert and the late Juice WRLD. Watch Chance the Rapper on Pitchfork’s “Over/Under” below.





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Leighton Meester Is Pregnant! Revisit Her and Adam Brody’s Romance

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This is no Gossip (girl), it’s true that Adam Brodyand Leighton Meesterare expecting their second baby together.

In photos obtained by the Daily Mail, the actress was spotted sporting a large baby bump while out and about in Los Angeles, Calif. where she and her husband live. Her and Brody’s reps have not commented nor confirmed the happy news.

Their bundle of joy will join their daughter Arlo Day Brody, who was born in 2015. Fans have not yet met little Arlo as her parents are quite private, but Adam previously said this wasn’t intentional. “She’s more inherently private than I am,” Brody said of Meester. “I don’t seek publicity but if I’m sitting next to you on the subway, I’ll tell you everything about me.”

This explains why people are just now learning of Leighton’s pregnancy, when she appears to be nearing her due date. 

Other than that, Seth says their life isn’t all that different from anybody else’s. He shared, “We’re homebodies. We don’t go to a lot of things that perhaps we could, and don’t seek out promotion in that way.”

When they do go out, however, the couple sure makes a striking impression with their dazzling good looks and good deeds to boot. To see some of these outings, check out the gallery below!

Deano / Splash News

Adam Brody, Leighton Meester

AKM-GSI

Leighton Meester, Adam Brody

Allan Bregg / Splash News

Leighton Meester, Adam Brody

REX USA/Tania Coetzee

Leighton Meester, Adam Brody

Henry S. Dziekan III/WireImage

Leighton Meester, Adam Brody, Shazam Premiere

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Adam Brody, Leighton Meester, Real Estate

Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images

Leighton Meester, Adam Brody

Araya Diaz/Getty Images

Adam Brody, Leighton Meester, Real Estate

ABC/Kelsey McNeal





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