Considering how many series there are on TV, one of my biggest regrets has been that I have, more often than not, given Comedy Central’s primetime viewing as little attention as I have. With so many brilliant shows between 8 and 11, I have given very short shrift to the often brilliant and well-designed sketch comedy/satires that the network has created. I’ve given no attention to Key & Peele, Broad City, and Workaholics, series that have been hailed as the most creative comedies on the air, and, when I do have the odd moment, to watch, often startle me with their wit and vision.
I decided not to drop the ball any further, and decided to try and follow up on yet another brilliant sketch/standup artists work, Inside Amy Schumer, which has just begun its third season. Similar in format to Louie (another brilliant parody I’ve basically shafted in this column. It’s easy enough to say you’ve seen one self-satirizing comedian, you’ve seen them all, but that wouldn’t give them nearly enough credit, especially when it comes to Schumer, a comedienne so brilliantly talented and yet with such modesty that she only submits herself in the Supporting Actress category when Emmy time comes around. This is a woman who has the tenacity to have God played by Paul Giamatti and pray to him that she doesn’t have herpes, a woman who gets a boy band to sing to her a traditional ballad about taking off her makeup— then sings to her to put it back on, a woman who runs a commercial about an It’s Amy doll to be marketed to children, who promptly falls into bed with strange dolls and vomits when you put her to bed..
But lest you think that Schumer is only inclined to satirize herself, there are, and you don’t have to look that closely, pretty deep messages behind the humor. In the season premiere she appears in a sketch with Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette as they were in the midst of a celebration of Dreyfus’ “last f—able day” as these very able actresses dealt with the problems that every actress in a certain age group must deal with at a certain point. There was also a hysterical sketch about the difficulty of obtaining birth control when you got to your pharmacy, and a daring Friday Night Lights parody, where the head coach played by Josh Charles, tried to set a policy against raping—- which nobody on the team or in the small town understood. In between these sketches, we see bits of Schumer’s act, funny enough on its own, and her having funny interviews with transsexuals, which she handles with such confidence, you wonder why she wasn’t considered for the new host of the The Daily Show.
And of course, trying to explain this all, probably makes it sound complex and dry, when naturally, it’s usually blissfully funny. Schumer is never afraid to throw herself under the bus for just about any joke possible. There was a sketch last night where she played a woman in her office who was okay with going to a strip club with the guys, which ended up playing like The Hangover on acid. One would like to say that she is a very gifted comedienne, but that would imply that she was only a funny female comic, when like her models in the sketch below, she is as good a hyphenate. She’s going to be appearing in the latest Judd Apatow movie this summer. See her before she becomes a comet that she deserves to be.
MY score: 4.5 stars.