Comedy Central’s latest piece of original programming, Inside Amy Schumer, just made a big wet splash in cable ratings last night. The series premier, nestled into a 10:30pm time slot, just exploded into the homes of 1.6 million Americans last night (making it Comedy Central’s biggest hit of the year). Oddly enough, for a show so grounded in the plight of the modern woman and so saturated with pussy jokes, it seems to be doing especially and remarkably well with young adult males. Perhaps all the hapless dudes in the dating pool are just taking copious notes on what not to do during their next sexual encounter.
I had pretty high expectations for this show. I hadn’t exactly been a long time champion of Amy’s being that she’s only been visible in the industry for a few years, but I DO think she’s really fucking funny. Maybe it’s my inner gay man that loves all the “naughty chick humor” but I could watch Amy change her tampon and read the phone book and be laughing. If you have the balls to make a joke about Patrice O’Neal’s grandmother’s asshole to his face then I’m on board. So, then, having seen the first episode of this show, I can say that I will certainly keep watching but I wasn’t exactly blown away.
The show has kind of a jarring format. It’s essentially a sketch show intercut with her stand-up, street interviews and sort of candid conversations with other people in entertainment where she can be “real” but still be “funny”. Now this all sounds fun and groovy in theory but given that the show is only a half hour, some of it feels a bit like filler attempting to zip it all up and keep it fresh, keep it moving. Amy is so naturally funny but, unfortunately, suffers from the stand up comedian’s affliction of not really being able to act that well (*cough* *cough* Jerry Seinfeld). The skits, which are the meat and potatoes of the show, were certainly the strongest part (some more than others). As someone who used to be super overweight, pale and sexually confused, I literally couldn’t have crafted a more on-point oeuvre as the “One Night Stand” segment: Amy has a one-night stand with some dude, and the rest of the piece is done in split-screen showing their subsequent, respective days: Amy is researching this guy’s whole life story online and picking out a wedding cake while he poops and takes a nap. That’s real. A little too real.
The rest of the skits were perfectly funny, although I almost felt the subject matter was a bit desperate at points. It’s almost as if she sat down, and said “Ok, what do edgy comedians joke about? Race, sex, STD’s…got it”. The skits where she’s the most self-depricating, glimpsing into her horribly misguided dating life, were by and large the most effective. If I’m going to go ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ I want to see what’s really going on in there. Although perhaps the problem is that sketch comedy isn’t really her niche. Judging from one episode I’d be curious if she can even sustain new material for the rest of the season. And having listened to her interviewed on Howard Stern, she seems to be the funniest behind the artifice and letting it all hang out. She may just be a Kathy Griffin, rather than a Tina Fey.
That being said, I’m certainly not ruling this show out just yet. And I certainly haven’t cancelled any recordings on my DVR. I just hope that a tepid premier can be attributed to the whole operation still figuring itself out (like me my first year in college). But next time Amy, I want you take me deeper!!!