Inside Amy Schumer premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. eastern on Comedy Central. Gander at your local cable box’s listings to confirm this. The first episode is available on Comedy Central’s official website now.
Comedy Central has been riding a hot streak lately, and it more than continues with Inside Amy Schumer.
This should not be surprising when you consider the writing staff of disparate, talented stand-up comedians that most of you who read this website have at the very least heard of: head writer Jessi Klein, Kurt Metzger, Gabe Liedman, and longtime writing partners Kyle Dunnigan and Tig Notaro. One of the show’s directors is Neal Brennan, the man who co-created, co-executive produced, and co-wrote Chappelle’s Show, still regarded as the best and culturally relevant Comedy Central sketch show that ever graced Earth’s televisions. And it helps that the show’s co-creator, co-executive producer and star is a comedienne that in the course of nine years of stand-up has learned to pull off the impossible trick of being portrayed as a strong, bawdy comic while simultaneously coming off as completely vulnerable and kind-hearted.
Amy Schumer’s voice and sensibility comes through in every sketch, man-on-the-street (woman-on-the-street?) interview and brief bits of stand-up (obviously), giving Inside Amy Schumer a consistent, and most importantly of all, funny tone. There is great care and comedic precision in bits that absolutely do not deserve to have them based on their premise, like the series’ opening salvo where Amy is interviewing for a role in the classic “Two Girls, One Cup” video. It is unlikely that that particular sketch appearing first wasn’t on purpose, when you consider that the show’s lead-in is a new episode of Tosh.O, but also how it lets the viewer know exactly what they’re going to get into, and who they’re going to glide over the crap with. The sketch could very easily had relied exclusively on its shock value, but instead you have the man from those ubiquitous Chase commercials flatly explaining - with unconscionably unwavering respectable airs - that neither Schumer nor her future partner will be tested for diseases due to the honor system. That occurred moments after Amy’s new friend wordlessly took a bite of her lunch coincidentally right after the man in the suit discussed the more disgusting aspects of the video.
Some sketches directly comment on the contemporary dating scene for a single woman (or man) in their early thirties, like a bit that starts off in danger of simply playing out old fashioned gender roles, where Schumer assumes the man she slept with the night before is now her boyfriend, despite his not returning any of her texts, but after a Facebook check confirms that he isn’t a sociopath or anything. The funny extrapolations Schumer’s character makes, and the out-of-nowhere ridiculousness of the man’s choice of masturbation material makes it funny, and the kind of depressing truth in how whimsical and carried away one can get after encountering anyone who seems remotely not awful grounds the whole thing, the equivalent of daydreaming about marrying the cute guy or gal that works at the Dunkin Donuts played to the most laughs possible. The first segment in the second episode has Amy growing increasingly frustrated and a little disgusted trying to keep up with some rigorous and uninspired sexting with some dude, deleting a lot of funny texts that anyone who wasn’t trying to orgasm would appreciate, as an old romantic movie plays on in front of her. So depressing if you think about the concept, so you just have to laugh.
And then there are the sketches that are just plain brutally funny; sketches that would very easily had fit in an episode of Chappelle’s Show actually: a bit about reprogramming octogenarians who can’t help but be the most racist people in the world comes to mind. There are plentiful “indie” comic legend cameos, which you possibly have already noticed in commercials, but I wont name names for fear of unspeakable punishments by the hands of the fine folks at Viacom.
Years of speaking honestly and humorously about sex, race, and her own self has led Amy Schumer to this moment in time that most comedians have only gotten as far as dreaming of: the dawn of the premiere of their own really funny and very promising show.