Amy Schumer at 2012 Just for Laughs | Comedy Review
Amy Schumer says she's always been dirty, but until her comments at the roast of Charlie Sheen last fall, nobody took notice. It's true that most audiences probably primarily know her from her fourth-place finish on season 5 of NBC's Last Comic Standing (where dirty jokes don't fly). But since the Sheen roast, that's changed. Schumer was full of filth last night at her headlining TBS Just for Laughs appearance at the Park West, and this time the audience was ready.
Schumer hit the stage in a white cocktail dress and high heels. Even though her material was full of self-deprecating humor, there's no denying she's knockout. She's also a classic joke teller who sets up the crowd and serves them punchlines (often more than one) full of unexpected raunch. Take this opener: "I finally slept with my high school crush," she said at the top of her set. "He expects me to go to his high school graduation." Then with this second punchline, "like I know where I'll be in three years." In many ways she reminds me of the female counterpart to Anthony Jeselnik who taped a Comedy Central special in Chicago earlier this month and who Schumer dated (Jeselnik also appeared on the Comedy Central roast of Sheen). "Do you know that show Teen Mom," Schumer asked. "Or if you're from the South, Mom."
At 31, Schumer is perfectly poised to take on issues of sex, dating, drinking and motherhood. She talked about wanting to be on her best behavior on a date with a guy she really liked. "So I pretended I like kids and I'm not racist." On her sex life: "I've only been with four guys. That was a weird night." And on dating an African-American: "Once you go black...your parents never talk to you again."
Unlike a compelling storyteller or raconteur, like Paul F. Tompkins for example, I'm not sure I could sit through more than about 50 minutes of straight up jokes and was glad Schumer veered from this format to both banter with the audience (especially an attractive woman in the front row) and also to tell an extended story about her contempt for bathroom attendants (which the Park West notably employs). She ended the set with another longform yarn about playing truth or dare with a group of Connecticut housewives. It ended with Schumer revealing she once let a cab driver finger her. You had to be there. You should've been. Schumer killed it.