Amy Schumer is one of the most intelligent and engaging comic voices in the current zeitgeist. So it should come as no surprise that her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, is as smart, original, and straight-up hilarious as its eponymous leading lady. The show’s backbone is its filmed sketches, most of which star the 33-year-old Schumer as her off-kilter alter ego (also named Amy), haphazardly fumbling through issues of gender and sex. In one sketch, Schumer spends the day after a one-night stand planning her wedding with the man she just slept with, whom, meanwhile, has yet to enter her as a contact in his phone book. In another sketch, she is a guest on a What Not to Wear–like makeover show, and when the host visits her a year later, she finds that Schumer has not changed out of her outfit, or washed her face or hair, for fear of ruining her new look. In one of the shows strongest (and most unsettling) sketches, Schumer plays her boyfriend’s Call of Duty–style war video game, and when she chooses to play the female soldier, rather than running out into battle, her avatar is sexually assaulted and proceeds to be punished in the game for reporting her assault. The show sometimes gets angry, it often gets dark, but it never fails to get its laughs, and it never takes its finger off our society’s very screwed-up pulse.
Rather than use just one framing device to tie her sketches together, Schumer uses several. Like Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K. before her, she inserts snippets of her stand-up set into her series. She also intersperses her sketches with her “woman on the street” interviews, where she asks passersby probing questions about their personal lives. Each episode concludes with a segment of “Amy Goes Deep,” in which Schumer interviews a person she finds worthy of the spotlight. One interview subject is a pornography producer; another is a 106-year-old woman.
Schumer is currently in production for the Judd Apatow–directed film Trainwreck, a starring vehicle she wrote for herself. Apatow, a comedic fairy godfather of sorts, is in the habit of launching talent straight up into the stratosphere (Seth Rogen, James Franco, Steve Carell, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Lena Dunham are just a few examples). With that in mind, it seems Schumer’s star is ascending with furious speed. Those who like their comedy unflinchingly bold and unapologetically smart would be wise to check out Inside Amy Schumer and become a fan before she becomes a household name.