It’s no secret that Paste digs The Amber Ruffin Show. The late night comedy is one of the best reasons to subscribe to Peacock, the NBC Universal streaming service that is its home. It’s unique for the late night genre because it focuses solely on comedy, with no interviews or musical performances, and although its jokes often have a sociopolitical bent, it’s not as overtly about current events or specific politicians as Late Night with Seth Meyers (which Ruffin writes and performs for) or any of the shows hosted by former Daily Show correspondents. It’s marked by an inspired silliness and an overall air of lightness, which makes the more pointed jokes sneak up on you and land with more power than if they were delivered as part of an eight-minute political diatribe. Basically it’s a late night comedy show you can watch and laugh with without also getting depressed, which, y’know, has been pretty tough to find for the last several years.
One of Ruffin’s recurring bits that best sums up the show’s tone is her show-closing lullabies. Each episode ends with Ruffin singing a short, sweet, original lullaby to help viewers fall asleep. They serve as a showcase for Ruffin’s great voice (which all Detroiters fans will recognize from the “Farmer Zack” ad), but also sum up the show’s approach to comedy in just a couple of lines. Ruffin’s typical lullaby starts off sweetly, with general complements and words of encouragement, before taking a turn in the second half to land on something thorny and topical. I don’t want to give any specifics away, but it’s an evergreen formula for a joke, delivered in the calm, soothing tones of a lullaby.
Here’s a video with a bunch of examples from the show. This supercut of Ruffin’s lullabies went up on YouTube today, and it’s an ideal way to destress a bit while killing a few minutes during the workday. If you want to see how The Amber Ruffin Show is able to effectively deliver commentary through cheery, relaxed goofiness, this video has all the examples you need.
New episodes of The Amber Ruffin Show go live on Peacock on Friday nights.