Amy Schumer is the best kind of comedian. She looks like Hilary Duff or like someone who would love horses, but when she opens her mouth she slaps you right across the face with her wit. Amy is highly in-tune with current issues facing women and she writes comedy that is both hilarious and terribly uncomfortable to watch.
Last week I was at my friend’s house mourning the loss of a playoff game (YES I LIKE SPORTS), when we decided to watch Inside Amy Schumer. It had been a while since I had caught up with the show, and even though the episodes I had seen were funny, I was wholly unprepared for how socially aware season three has become. It began with Football Town Nights. In the skit Amy plays the wife of a coach who bans the football team from rape and the town explodes in outrage. “Hey you’re that new coach who don’t like rapin'” one elderly woman yells at the coach in his driveway before spitting on his property. “How are our boys supposed to blow off steam if they lose!?” In another skit, “Milk Milk Lemonade” Amy parodies our newest obsession: ass. “This is where our poop comes out,” she raps. “This is what you think is hot!”
For two seasons, Amy has been honing her craft with Inside Amy Schumer and she has officially hit her stride. The last few months have seen four videos go viral insanely fast, and each one tackles sexism, misogyny, and ageism. Sometimes all in one. The brilliance of Amy’s craft is that she might lock you in with a catchy song or funny joke, but then she will beat you with a shovel when the true message of her skit becomes clear.
To many people, this kind of humor will be borderline offensive. Some will find it controversial. But I think that’s kind of cheap and an easy way out of dissecting why the humor makes us so uncomfortable. Amy is exploring many social norms about women and minorities that we don’t want to discuss. Her targets are typically straight white males who are misogynistic. Amy is clever to pinpoint direct pop culture references or stories that we can all identify with. In “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” her critique is aimed at boybands who release ridiculous songs about how beautiful girls are in their own skin. As if women need teen boys wearing blush and concealer to tell them how gorgeous they are without it.
The most blatantly funny skit is “Last Fuckable Day” which is helped, in part, by Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Julia Dreyfus. “In every actress’s life, there is a day when the media decides when an actress is not believably fuckable anymore,” Julia explains. “But what about men?” Amy asks, confused. “Who tells men when it’s their last fuckable day?” Everyone laughs as Tina responds, “They’re fuckable forever. They could 100 and have nothing but white spiders coming out of their head and they would still be fuckable.”
Amy is the kind of comedian who is sick of being asked how great it is for women in the industry. She’s tired of being told how she should look by grown, out of touch men. And she’s got a shitload to say for women who feel the same amount of discrimination. Her humor works because it’s smart enough to make it’s point with snark, but easy enough for anyone watching to understand it. Men will get it even if they feel like dicks while watching it. Women will laugh and remember their own experiences dealing with the same discrimination.
Not all humor has to be intelligent, but what makes Inside Amy Schumer such a newly exciting show is how bold and brave Amy is to go for the jugular. Comedy Central is also way ahead of the curve by putting these videos on YouTube so they can have their own viral life. By doing this, CC is giving Amy a chance to connect with viewers who wouldn’t ordinarily watch her show by means of small soundbites from her show. Instead of networks being overly protective of their content being released for free, more should follow suit from CC. Networks should release more content online for free and let the show develop a life of it’s own, both on Tumblr and in real life dialogue. Inside Amy Schumer is starting a very important dialogue on feminism and sexism, and it’s one you shouldn’t miss.