The Amber Ruffin Show discusses Derek Chauvin, vaccinations, and more

Amber Ruffin (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Peacock)
Amber Ruffin (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Peacock) /

Last night, The Amber Ruffin Show released another episode displaying even more awareness of issues that viewers are seeing in the news cycle.

Ruffin starts the show off with her monologue alongside her sidekick, Tarik Davis. She begins by bringing up the news that Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin had been found guilty on all charges brought against him in the murder of George Floyd. Ruffin continues to comment on other news including a California home intrusion, fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, Purdue University researchers developing the ‘whitest’ paint color to date, following a vegetarian diet can lead to lower testosterone, and actor Shemar Moore.

Ruffin then tells viewers about some “international news”. A woman in Canada broke a World Record by singing the C1 note. Ruffin attempts to beat this record herself alongside Davis. In another musical moment for the show, the pair begin to rotate off trying to sing-speak embarrassing moments that happened to them as they both try to reach the lowest note. One example is Davis singing “One time I accidentally ate the little paper inside a fortune cookie” and Ruffin saying, “One time I saw a roach in my shower while I was in there…and I just let it happen.” They continue doing this until Davis eventually hits a very low note to which Ruffin remarks, “We found it! That is the absolute lowest note”.

Watch the full video below:

Amber Ruffin on the conviction of Derek Chauvin

Amber Ruffin decides to sing along her own lyrics that detail her disdain for Chauvin to the tune of the popular Etta James song, “At Last”. While Ruffin is excited about the verdict, Davis kept trying to break in and essentially explain to Ruffin that the verdict means more than just justice and that people shouldn’t get complacent.

Davis appears to become more infuriated as Ruffin continues to sing through her song and decidedly refuses to admit that this is cause for celebration.  Ruffin exclaims that “This is progress, Tarik, you have got to let us celebrate.” Davis then tells Ruffin, “No! No—I am not satisfied, I’m disappointed. And I will stay disappointed until they stop killing us!”. Ruffin stops singing and acknowledges Davis’ frustration as he points out numbers related to the continued police violence against citizens.

Watch the full video below:

Afterward, Ruffin appears solo to speak seriously about the impact of the murder and trial of George Floyd. She is seen standing next to a large clock that’s stuck at 9:29 which is the amount of time that Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck. Ruffin then notes that “In a single day, there are 1,440 minutes. If a clock gets stuck at one time, it’s only correct for two of those minutes. That’s 0.13 percent of the time. Not good.”

Ruffin applies this same metric to the American criminal justice system. As she compares the system to a clock, Ruffin says “I’m so happy to have it—and I am so disgusted with how happy it makes me because even with that accountability, another black life becomes a black body, a family is left to go on without their father, and we are all forced to publicly argue for the right to our own humanity yet again.”

Ruffin ends the clock metaphor by saying, “At this point, the clock is wrong so often, it’s time to admit that it’s actually working perfectly. It was just never meant to work for us.”

Watch the full video below:

After viewers saw Ruffin use her platform to give exposure to important topics, the host jumps back into the world of jokes to bring some levity back to the show. Ruffin explains that there are three things she loves in this world: “a good friend, a good joke, and a good walk.”

In a segment called “The Long Walk,” Ruffin and Davis are seen walking down a foresty trail as they discuss some good jokes that they’ve heard. Davis introduces Ruffin to a joke about the band Foreigner. Without spoiling the whole joke, just know that it involves the band and its relationship to the sport of tennis.

After the end of “A Long Walk,” Ruffin returns to her desk to acknowledge that there have been a growing number of people getting vaccinated. This leads into the next part of the show where viewers see Ruffin perform the last sketch of the night which happens to be another musical one with Davis.

Davis appears in this music video as an apparent doctor whose name is “Dr. Sexy” while Ruffin appears as three different members of a girl group called “Silk Press.” In the video, Ruffin and Davis are having a phone conversation in which Ruffin’s characters ask Davis if they can hang out since they’re vaccinated. It seems though as if “Dr. Sexy” might be a bit skeptical though.

Watch Ruffin and Davis channel classic R&B music culture in the full video below:

At the end of the episode, broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien appears on screen to close out the show. O’Brien tells the viewers that the “O” in her last name stands for “Oh my God, I love the Amber Ruffin Show”.

In this episode, it’s apparent that Ruffin and her writing team went all out in terms of showcasing her musical chops. While this obviously comes as no surprise and is a staple in her comedy, it’s important to note that Ruffin’s continued use of music to underscore her insightful commentary on race, politics, and culture is one of the many reasons why her show should be considered one of the most influential late-night shows currently on air.

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You can watch The Amber Ruffin Show when episodes premiere on NBC’s Peacock website and app Fridays at 9:00 P.M. EST.