Amber Ruffin Has Some Advice for Election Day 2020 (Because She Went to Bed Too Early in 2016)

This blog may be the umpteenth article you will read today about the upcoming presidential election, but I do think this one will at least ease some of the stress because you may get a chuckle out of it.

As we approach Election Day on Tuesday, Amber Ruffin has some advice for U.S. citizens (and hell, even folks who will be watching the results globally as this day will affect them in some way, too). I sat down with Ruffin (who is a real motherfucking delight!) via Zoom and asked her if she had some advice for Black folks as we manage the various emotions of the presidential election (you know, since a lot of her job involves offering commentary on the current Cheeto-in-Chief).


First off, don’t go to sleep early because who wants to wake up to a new clusterfuck that other folks have already processed a bit? Though we know what happened in 2016, there’s a pretty good chance that either result will produce its own unique kind of clusterfuck. It’s going to be stressful, regardless—I guess we have to pick our stressful poison, huh?

“I know I will not make the same mistake I made in 2016,” Ruffin remarked. “Buddy, in 2016, I went to bed early. I was like, ‘We have this!’ and my husband woke me up and said, ‘I don’t think that she’s [Hillary Clinton] going to win...’ and I said ‘get outta here!’ and went back to sleep! What an idiot! And I woke up to people crying in the streets—it was a mess! But look, this time we are emotionally prepared...that’s for sure. We are Black, we are strong and we’ve been emotionally prepared for quite a long time. Not that we should have to be, it’s just how we are.”


Also, Ruffin most notably made history as the first Black woman to ever write for a late-night talk show (on a major network, mind you!) in the U.S. and is right now making history as the only current Black woman lead host of a late-night talk show (again with a major network, via their streaming platform).

“It’s just so late,” Ruffin mused. “There have been a lot of people talking about situations that they are absolutely not in. So, if you like information, why don’t you get some from the people who are directly affected.”

New episodes of The Amber Ruffin Show air Fridays at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on Peacock.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



I must admit, it took me a while to get accustomed to Ruffin’s style but I kept trying because she is very insightful (and she breaks down songs lyrics, I do too! Take, for example, Stevie Wonder’s classic, Lately; “just the other night while you were sleeping, I vaguely heard you whisper someone’s name” (RECORD SCRATCH) WAKE YOUR ASS UP! Who you dreaming about? Don’t lie, Heffa! I vaguely heard you whisper someone’s name!)


It took a minute but now I fully Team Ruffin. I heart her funny brain.