TBS’s Samantha Bee went on a journey to pick up the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle gun safety mascot for admittedly bad reasons, but just couldn’t pull it off.
The Canadian-American comedian who cut her teeth on The Daily Show for more than a decade before skipping networks to get her own Daily Show-ish late-night program, Full Frontal, on TBS, just really wanted the seven-foot tall flightless bird mascot.
“There’s something about that costume, so mockable, so asinine, I had to have one,” she says early into the nearly seven minute clip.
Because teaching kids to stay away from guns is asinine, right? Zing! You go, Samantha!
This sparks a saga during which Bee sends her producers to buy several firearms (including one through Armslist, some at gun shows from private sellers, etc. ), founds a fake gun safety group and offers a $3K bribe to a sheriff’s department employee to buy a costume from him– all while not offering any alternatives to the NRA’s safety programs and using horrible gun safety herself.
But hey, slapstickly muzzle and trigger control is funny stuff, man. Especially where kids are concerned.
She makes a few stretches, such as saying the NRA makes it easier to get a gun that to get sudafed, and clearly making a correlation between the NRA’s own restrictions on selling Eddie Eagle costumes to those on selling guns, but it’s all in the name of getting the yucks, yes?
Vox and Rolling Stone loved the sketch with the former screeching, “As a result, it’s way easier to buy an arsenal of guns in the US than it is to become Eddie Eagle,” and the latter calling the whole thing “a glaring, surreal NRA double standard…”
The National Review‘s Charles C.W. Cooke didn’t crack much of a smile, pointing out the Full Frontal piece was, “willful stupidity.”
“Eddie the Eagle” is a private, trademarked, fictional character owned by an organization that is able to restrict his replication as much as it wishes. Firearms, by contrast, are constitutionally protected goods that cannot be denied to free people without good cause. Of course it is easier to get hold of one than the other. To buy a gun one needs to be of a certain age and to be without a criminal record; to obtain an “Eddie the Eagle” costume one needs to meet whatever conditions the character’s owners have imposed.
As for the National Rifle Association, they linked to Cooke’s piece via social media and stated, “A hit piece by Samantha Bee about NRA’s Eddie Eagle gun safety campaign missed the mark.”