The Amber Ruffin Show succeeds in its second network TV episode

Amber Ruffin (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/Peacock)
Amber Ruffin (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/Peacock) /

Last night, there was no doubt that Amber Ruffin has solidified her impact on late-night television during her show’s eighteenth episode. The Amber Ruffin Show’s second episode to air on NBC served as another greatly appreciated showcase of Ruffin’s political commentary mixed with her non-sensical but very funny sense of humor.

This was also Ruffin’s second episode to air on network television in addition to its regular home on Peacock. On Feb. 26, The Amber Ruffin Show aired its first episode on NBC. The show was given a two-week trial run resulting in Ruffin’s show temporarily replacing A Little Late With Lilly Singh in its regular Friday time slot.

As usual, the beginning of Ruffin’s program taps into major news events that happen throughout the week including Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, asking President Joe Biden to share coronavirus vaccines, the sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the suspension of eight Dr. Seuss authored children’s books that depicted racist imagery and sentiments.

For the past three weeks, Ruffin’s on-screen sidekick, Tarik Davis had been absent from the show. Davis returned to The Amber Ruffin Show last night and led a sketch in which he explained where he has been, saying that he took some “me time”. On the screen, title cards that are reminiscent of ones that appear in silent movies flash on the screen telling the truth of why Davis was not on the show, the first one admitting that Davis had contracted the COVID-19 virus. Davis continues to claim that he needed a break as the title cards give more insight into what Davis was actually doing.

Ruffin then introduces a segment titled, “The Cool Down” to help those who are feeling anxious about life during the pandemic. During this segment, stock footage of seemingly relaxing images such as a sunrise, two puppies playing in a field, and a waterfall, is shown with a dream-like filter on them as Ruffin comedically narrates words of encouragement.

The Amber Ruffin Show speaks about “economic anxiety”

After the break, Ruffin introduces another segment by saying:

"America is known for three things: baseball, apple pie, and not spending money on social services. We’re one of the richest nations in the world, but we don’t have a lot of cool things other developed countries have—like the ability to go to the dentist without taking out a loan. But how did we get here?"

In “How Did We Get Here,” Amber touches upon issues in America and explains, in depth, that Americans are suffering from “economic anxiety” and are seeing social turmoil which caused Ruffin to make a dig at news such as Woody Allen’s alleged molestation charges. Ruffin then refers to America as a pie to explain the gap between higher-income and lower-income Americans. She references different articles in her informative deep-dive segment and adds in her own commentary about taxes and how education and job training will equal more people making a living wage. Check out the full monologue below:

Late Night with Seth Meyers writer and Davis’ temporary replacement, Jeff Wright, returns to the show to inform Ruffin and Davis that Broadway Jack is coming. Who is Broadway Jack and why is he important, you may ask? Well, you’re just going to have to find out yourself:

Amber Ruffin and Tarik Davis break into song about bodily autonomy

Recently, a new law went into effect in South Carolina that banned most options to get an abortion. The law was subsequently suspended, but similar laws have been passed since then in more than ten states. Ruffin takes this as an opportunity for yet another musical skit in which she satirizes the notion that women need a man to tell them what to do with their own bodies. Ruffin and Davis appear and duet this comical song:

At the end of the episode, actress and former TV host Busy Phillips appears to close out the show saying that she always gets asked how she got her nickname, Busy, to which she “always”  replies “prison”.  An off-beat but still, humorous end to another seamlessly-made episode of The Amber Ruffin Show. 

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What did you think of last night’s episode? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. You can watch The Amber Ruffin Show for free when episodes premiere on NBC’s Peacock website and app Fridays at 9:00 P.M. EST.