I love Amy Schumer, almost as much as I hate Amy Schumer. Actually, what I should say is: I love Amy Schumer, almost as much as I hate the idea of Amy Schumer. Despite being an immensely talented comic, Schumer has become everyone and their mother’s favorite comic. Schumer is no longer a club or theatre comic. She’s the type of comic that can probably sell out Madison Square Garden for the rest of her career. She’s entered the lexicon of Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Eddie Murphy, but she’s also entering into the realm of Dane Cook. She’s still incredibly funny, but it appears her material has suffered a bit. She’s not as witty or clever as she was during Live at the Apollo or Cutting. Of course, that doesn’t mean she’s not funny.
Schumer is most successful in her pacing. She knows how to pick up an audience during slow moments. Despite a very lackluster meta-joke about her outfit, which gives this the name The Leather Special, she comes back with the word you never want to hear about a nude picture of yourself: brave. It’s a solid joke that she takes on for just a little too long, but right when you can hear her losing the audience, she calls back to her old material, “I am blacking out tonight,” and the crowd erupts. Schumer follows with a number of sex jokes that an audience would expect from her: “Have you ever had a guy cum in your mouth, and go, ‘Does it taste okay?’…No!” She riffs off the sperm jokes for a while, and it never loses momentum. Unfortunately, a lot of these jokes bare a similarity to the type of high energy routine that Dane Cook. She keeps the show going with goofy voices that bare a resemblance to Cook, like when she talks about “machine gun shitting.” As Nick DiPaolo stated about Cook, “he doesn’t make me laugh, but that doesn’t mean he’s not funny.” Even though Schumer’s goofier stuff is laughable, it lacks the great writing of her previous specials. It’s sad that she’s dumbed down some of her material to appeal to a wider audience, and it also says something about what people search for an immensely popular comic.
Despite relying heavily on these sorts of silly voices, she does pepper in really great jokes, such as when she responds to finding out that her new boyfriend has never been tested for STD’s with “mysterious.” Her bits about male birth control, meeting her new boyfriend’s mother, or winning a Peabody are all immensely funny and clever both harkening back to her earlier material or poking fun at her recent success. Schumer’s facial expressions are also incredible and really compliment her material. These moments prove Schumer is incredibly deserving of the success she has gained.
Schumer does not shy away from the recent trend of getting serious towards the end of her special. To Schumer’s credit, she performs this section closer to the middle of the show than the end, and she does address a very serious issue that did affect her work directly. Schumer does get very emotional when discussing the murder of Mayci Breaux and Jillian Johnson, whom the special is in memory of, by a mentally ill, domestically abusive shooter during Trainwreck. The jokes Schumer performs aren’t as funny as Jim Jefferies’, but she seems more concerned with making a statement than making a joke. Schumer does return to her jokes after, and there is a bit lost following the heavy gun control material. That being said, it seems Schumer realizes that people came out to laugh, and it’s important to end with big laughs rather than something serious.
While Schumer has dumbed down a large portion of her material, she still shows that she can write material with substance. While this special isn’t as good as Live at the Apollo or Cutting, Schumer’s upcoming film with Goldie Hawn will probably be worth watching, and hopefully, her next special highlights some of the good moments from this one.
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