No matter who you are, you probably had a job that changed you, or you learned a financial lesson that stuck with you. Each week, we ask actors, writers, comedians and musicians to open up and tell us about how money and work played a role in their life.
This week, Samantha Bee, host of the late-night show “Full Frontal,” takes our questionnaire based on her experiences with money.
In a next life, what would your career be?
In my next life or career, I would probably be something in the world of food. I could theoretically see myself as a very artisanal farmer that really, like, plows by hand [laughter], or someone who runs a restaurant actually, a small restaurant, a breakfast restaurant. I cook all the time. It’s really important to me. I shop for ingredients … it’s very inconvenient. It’s one of the most inconvenient things that can be your hobby, because I work a lot. So it’s really hard to make time. It’s hard to carve out time to get the good eggs at the farmer’s market, but I do it. I’m exhausted [laughter].
What is the hardest part about your job that no one knows?
Oh, that’s a great question. There’s just a lot of kind of technical minutiae around doing this job, or at least around building a show up from zero. You know, you have to make the business cards, and you have to figure out who’s sitting where in your office. There are, kind of, technical considerations. You have to build a set from scratch. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t work with someone, we absolutely did, but there’s a lot of sort of decision making about things like color schemes and materials that go into the building of your set. And that’s not really my world, so I actually was very challenged by having to make split-second decisions about things that would make the physical makeup of the show over time, that I’d have to live with for a really long time.
What is something you bought that you completely regret buying?
I don’t really regret anything that I’ve bought in recent memory. I do regret selling my house in Canada. We sold our house in Canada in … I think in 2006 or something like that, because it was obvious we were going to live in it anymore, but I feel like we should have held onto it because, you know, I could have put a parent in it or something like that. It was a great house and so now when I go back to Toronto and I visit my family, sometimes I do a drive-by, I drive slowly up the street to see if they change the paint [laughter] or, you know, if they did anything to the deck. I completely regret selling my house in Canada.
What is your most prized possession?
We have one thing, which is a chandelier. We have a beautiful, kind of wire chandelier with metal birds on it from France that my husband bought for us when we bought a house in Toronto, and we were so broke and it was so expensive. He bought it because we loved it so much and it was an amazing … and of course we still have it, we’ll have it forever, it’s really beautiful and I love it, but I do … when I really think about it, I think about who we were at that time, and how much of a stretch it was for him to buy that for me.
When did you realize your current career could be an actual career?
I only realized it when I got hired to do it. I was working at an advertising agency at the time when I got hired by “The Daily Show,” so they rescued me from the real world [laughter], and that was probably the first time I went, “Oh, I could probably do this for a while, this can be sustained as long as they don’t fire me.” And then they didn’t.
What is something everyone should know no matter the cost?
Well, I’m going to make this a specific woman thing. Sorry! Every woman should own a good bra no matter how much it costs. Even if you need to get that bra custom-made, you should have a bra that fits you. It’s so important, it’s essential for happiness.
What advice do you wish someone gave you before you started your career?
Well, I think people gave me a lot of advice before I started my career, and I think a lot of that advice was, “Don’t do that career. That’s a terrible idea.” [laughter] So mostly … people’s advice, thank goodness I didn’t take it.