Inside Amy Schumer: Tuesdays 10:30pm Eastern on Comedy Central
2012 was a busy development cycle for Comedy Central as they locked up large numbers of stand-up comedians in full fledged developmental deals. It is now, in 2013 that we have started to see many of those series hit the airwaves, including Kroll Show, Nathan For You, The Jeselnik Offensive, and their newest offering Inside Amy Schumer.
Inside Amy Schumer is the eponymous comedienne’s newest project and follows a sketch comedy format much like other Comedy Central star vehicles, probably most closely hewing the Chapelle’s Show/Key and Peele mixture of stand-up in front of a studio audience and pre-taped bits. In addition to the sketch and stand-up segments, Schumer also performs a number of woman-on-the-street interviews over the course of the show.
With sketch comedy in general, I think the first and foremost question one needs to answer is: Is it funny? In my personal opinion, very much so. Schumer succeeds in carving out an incredibly seedy and neurotic alter ego for herself (unlike many other shows of this ilk, it doesn’t rely on the SNL model of recurring characters, instead focusing on slices of Amy’s life). Much of this work is set up in the premises of the show’s sketches, whether it’s Amy planning out a full life with a guy she just hooked up with the night before or being unable to identify an African-American sales clerk at a clothing store and then followed up by Schumer’s trademark raunchy style of comedy.
That being said, there were a few minor flaws I found with the show that can be easily addressed without necessarily changing the funny foundation on which the show is built. First and foremost, I found it odd that the show’s reference pool was firmly stuck in the later Bush years, devoting its opening segment to “Two Girls, One Cup” and riffing on veteran Biography Channel Series I Survived…. This seems like a weird gap in time to reference because it’s just old enough to feel dated while being just new enough that nostalgia has yet to build for it yet.
Secondly, while funny, the stand-up bits felt tacked on and gratuitous, where other similar shows monologue segments often served the purpose of setting up the show (Chapelle’s Show and Kroll Show were particularly strong at this style of introduction). Hopefully later episodes better tie the stage segments to their surrounding sketches, as Schumer’s stand-up act is fairly strong.
The Final Verdict: Inside Amy Schumer is very funny for sketch comedy and a strong enough premiere to warrant further viewing. I think a strong premiere says a lot about the potential that the series possesses, as many comedy shows often need a few episodes before becoming fully self-actualized. Minor quibbles aside, the show is a near-perfect mix of self-deprecation, cringe humor and gross out gags and looks primed to succeed in its’ post Tosh.0 time slot. If you get a chance, check it out: you won’t be disappointed.