October 15, 2015 at 4:42 pm #363728
Airs on Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 10 PM ET on HBO.
Major Variety Special contender next year.
Directed by Chris RockOctober 16, 2015 at 12:57 pm #363730
Can’t wait!October 17, 2015 at 8:45 am #363731
“Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo”: TV
AM PDT 10/16/2015 by Keith Uhlich
The Bottom Line: Room
for improvement. But it’s no trainwreck.
Saturday, October 17th, 10 p.m. (HBO)
The tart-tongued star of “Inside Amy
Schumer” gets plenty of laughs (both cheap and deep) in her first HBO stand-up
begins, as many of these comedy specials do, with a seemingly sentimental
throwback—scratchy home video of stand-up Amy Schumer as a little girl.
“My name is Amy . . . and this is myyyyy show!” sings the pajama-clad
tyke, adorably dragging out that second-to-last word. But before the cutesiness
can take permanent hold, on comes the profane refrain to Nicki Minaj’s
“Beez in the Trap” (“Bitches ain’t shit and they ain’t saying
nothing/A hundred mothafuckas can’t tell me nothin’ “), which underscores
images of grown-up Schumer posing with fans and doing some of her
alcohol-addled shock shenanigans.
may very well be written about Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo’s canny
appropriation of the Trinidadian-born Minaj’s hardcore hip-hop anthem—the
overture, in this context, to an acerbic white girl taking the stage at a
historic Harlem venue (the Apollo Theater) for an hourlong HBO special directed
by an African-American comedian (Chris Rock). Schumer is, of course, hip to the
ethnic ironies: “You guys all look like you’re from this
neighborhood!” she says to the mostly Caucasian audience.
race isn’t really Schumer’s shtick, and so she quickly segues into the
clueless-gal-of-privilege mode that’s earned her both praise (as a feminist
warrior) and scorn (as, well, a clueless gal of privilege). It’s an
interesting, frequently very funny line to watch her walk. And it’s often as
awkward as the lumbering strut she performs early on when recalling her
gap-toothed, hormone-afflicted fifth grade self. (“I was like this
jack-o’-lantern with tits walking around.”)
one prop—handheld mic aside—is a wine bottle that she takes a few swigs from on
occasion. (No jokester’s glass of water for this one.) Mostly, though, Schumer
sticks rigidly to center stage, letting her acid tongue do the heavy lifting.
It’s difficult to say how much of her standing around is performance anxiety
and how much of it is an intentional gambit to let her vulgar banter take
precedence. Schumer certainly doesn’t seem comfortable (and Rock’s direction is
purely functional at best and rhythm sapping at worst). But this could all be
part of the joke. Schumer’s confidence is all in her confrontational attitude,
and that doesn’t necessarily translate to the rest of her body.
looks are, unsurprisingly, a big part of the act. When Schumer talks about her
experience writing and starring in the Judd Apatow-directed “Trainwreck,” she
does several gutbusting riffs on modern femininity in Hollywood. She begins
with a terrific dissection of the atrocious talking animal comedy Zookeeper
starring Kevin James (“the real King James,” Schumer quips) and the
unreality of Rosario Dawson playing the smitten love interest. Then she talks
about the shock, and the quick ego boost, of being cast in a lead role she was
convinced would go to someone like Blake Lively. But, of course, weight loss is
part of the deal, and Schumer’s impression of the personal trainer she was
assigned is both a hilarious and mortifying encapsulation of the Tinseltown
standard of beauty. (“He’s smiling at me, trying to be brave, like you
would for a burn victim.”)
a great routine, one that’s matched only by a subsequent ode to semen (during
which she does a priceless shout-out to Oprah Winfrey), as well as a climactic
monologue about sexual positions that features some pretty uproarious audience
participation. It’s during these sections that Schumer’s humor is most alive—truly
transgressive in ways that confront, rather than winkingly tweak, the
chauvinistic prejudices she’s targeting. The rest is scattershot in the way of
a very talented comic still honing both her points and her live-act presence.
Guaranteed Schumer only improves from here.
October 17, 2015 at 9:07 am #363732
In “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo,”
Tart Words on Men, Women, Sex, and Herself
MIKE HALE OCT. 15, 2015
are a few of the ways Amy Schumer refers to herself in “Amy Schumer: Live at
the Apollo,” her HBO stand-up concert airing on Saturday night:
gnome. Jack-o’-lantern with breasts. (She doesn’t say breasts.) Werewolf. Fat
tumbleweed. Gilbert Grape’s mom. One of those inflatable things outside a
carwash. Super bloated. “I’m not a real woman, I’m just harvesting organs for
doesn’t call herself the hottest comedian around, though she coyly drops in “I
wrote a movie” to thunderous applause from the audience at the Apollo Theater,
where this special was taped. Later, she gets even more cheers during an
extended bit in which she compares herself (a “funny girl”) with the model and
actress Kate Upton (a “beautiful girl”) and asks, “When’s her hour special
coming out on HBO?”
Schumer, of “Inside Amy Schumer” on Comedy Central and writer and star of the
film “Trainwreck,” isn’t afraid to say insulting things about herself. But she
doesn’t do it with the self-mocking edge of a Joan Rivers. It’s a comfortable
kind of self-deprecation, born of insecurity but delivered with a confidence
that takes the sting out and gives the listener a snug feeling of complicity.
There are comics who inspire more raucous, helpless laughter, but no one has
the audience so completely on her side.
hourlong “Live at the Apollo,” her first HBO special, follows a trajectory from
one side of feminist comedy to the other. Much of the first half involves jokes
about her weight and appearance, which don’t register as defensive, because she
frames them as someone else’s perception of her. “You’re here for the girl
getting gastric bypass?” a Los Angeles casting agent asks. The trainer hired to
help her lose weight for “Trainwreck” tells her that for dinner she should “put
a peanut under your pillow and hope you dream of pizza.”
the second half, the focus swings to sex, and the notion—not new, but rarely
conveyed this pungently and hilariously—that women enjoy it just as much as
men. “I’d say in a relationship 50 percent of the time I initiate sex, and then
50 percent we don’t have it,” she announces. Recalling her mother’s telling her
that men wanted only one thing, she looks expectantly around the stage and
says: “O.K. And then I waited. Am I on the wrong street?”
is very little that’s explicitly political or topical about Ms. Schumer’s
comedy, though she drops in a throwaway liberal-guilt line about the audience
at the fabled Harlem theater (“You guys all look like you’re from this
neighborhood”). The show was directed by one of the sharpest political-cultural
critics around, Chris Rock, but he frames the hour simply with home movies of a
very young Amy, who sings “Let Me Entertain You” under the closing credits.
Schumer sticks, with perhaps a little too much regularity, to the themes of the
unfair expectations and limiting stereotypes imposed on women and the
self-absorbed, piggish behavior of men, a subject that gets a long workout in a
closing routine about sex acts with funny names. A refreshing hint of anger
seeps into Ms. Schumer’s generally placid affect as she recounts a series of
(fictional) acts whose details are increasingly demeaning to women, affirming
the idea that men dominate and define the conversation about sex. Where’s the
good one for the girl, she asks, in which she is pleasured while reading
tweets?October 18, 2015 at 8:01 am #363733
Last week for her SNL monologue I mentioned that she was so overexposed during the summer that she ended up making the exact same jokes she did on every talk show during her interviews. This time it was no exception and once again, pretty much the entire special was filled with jokes and stories she’s done before. Not just her usual themes, which is what people (myself included) may criticize about her, but the exact same lines.
During the summer she showed up everywhere for Inside, Movie Awards and Trainwreck. I believe she was on Ellen and Fallon for all three events and those are the places I’ve seen her, so I bet somebody else who watches Kimmel, Conan and the rest must have heard the rest of the jokes I’m thinking were new. So the entire Hollywood/L.A story with the stunt man being male, the trainer, the story about how her arms qualifying as legs or whatever, “am I a model?”, all of it, the entire first 20 minutes of the special were repeats of all those appearances. Then came a bit of new material (or so I think) and the repeat Lakers game story came up. I thought she would go with the Diana Agron picture joke she did on Ellen, but instead changed it to Kate Upton but most of it was again, done already, like the part about her manager giving her the tickets because he harrassed her which goes into the joke about how that’s ok in your 30s and the construction workers bit. All of it. Done, done, done before.
I could seriously keep going on…and I will. Then came the popcorn bit. Done on Ellen. After that she was like “So yeah I’m single, I bet you’re all thinking How do we date you? You can’t”. The exact same line. Then came the bit about how she’s only on an app about finding food. The entire bit was done on Ellen too. It was a bit tiresome. It’s not like she was doing all these jokes on some obscure network like the one that aired The Kennedys and everybody made fun of it because nobody could find the channel, it was on freaking Ellen and Fallon. Everybody watches those shows.
So yeah, she might be doing this to a standup audience which is ok to repeat yourself, it’s part of the whole standup deal, but if you’re telling these jokes over and over again on national television, don’t repeat them on your heavily promoted HBO special. It’s as if somebody just mentioned during her super successful summer “hey HBO has an hour available, you want to recycle all of your material for a special?, Sure, it’s not TV, it’s HBO!”.
Like I’m sure Ellen and Portia did last night, I watched the whole thing knowing it was all done before and I still laughed again, but common, it’s time for new material.October 18, 2015 at 9:20 am #363734
She killed it!!!
EMMY #2 coming right up!October 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm #363735
I actually agree with Benito in that a lot of the material was stuff I had already seen before, but I was pretty much expecting that. I think she’s still a good comic in that the delivery makes me laugh every time, so I still really enjoyed myself. Yes, it would have been nice to see some new material, but if you think about it, how often do comics come up with new material? It’s not like the jokes were from years ago, they were things we were hearing over the summer and it’s only October right now. I think, ultimately, this was HBO jumping on the bandwagon as fast as possible and filming a special of a tour she’s been doing this whole year (with jokes she’s been using the whole time as well), just so they could get “an Amy Schumer comedy special” out while it’s still gonna be hot. I still really enjoyed it. And she’ll get Emmy noms, which I’m completely okay with. But I am excited to see some new material from her.October 18, 2015 at 1:07 pm #363736
Stellar special. This will garner Amy Schumer even more Emmy nominations next year. The Kevin James section might have had me howling the most, but so much of this was hilarious and right in her inappropriate everygirl wheelhouse. Let’s just take a minute to reflect on her UTI section and the marvelous “cum dumpster” reference lmao. I didn’t think that Chris Rock’s direction brought all that much to the table (except maybe the vintage clips of Amy that began this), and I fail to see the point of having this housed at the legendary Apollo theater and then have a mostly Caucasian audience in attendance there. But whatever. Amy more than brought it here and will hopefully have many more specials aired in this venue.October 18, 2015 at 9:04 pm #363737
Yeah the Apollo audience was very un-Apollo. I remember during her D-List days Kathy Griffin mega bombed at the Apollo because she made a pussy joke in front a mostly black audience who clearly worshiped the Apollo for what it is and what it stands for and they weren’t having it. So when Amy started her pussy jokes I inmediately remembered that episode and thought “well these people are fine with it” and then…”well of course, it’s the whitest audience ever, they don’t care about this place”. At least she made her own joke about this audience and the neighborhood.
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