Entertainment

Amy Schumer Tackles Porn, Rape Jokes And Her Sudden Rise To Fame

The star of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer doesn’t shy away from the hard questions.

Amy Schumer doesn’t really give a shit that she’s now famous.

Already well known for her popular stand-up specials and appearances on celebrity roasts, the 32-year old Long Island native’s career has taken off in the last few months thanks to her hit Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer. The Tuesday night series, which mixes sketches, stand-up, and interviews, premiered in late April with a major ratings victory and has already been renewed for a second season. And yet, Schumer hasn’t felt like adjusting her day-to-day life too much — even if it creates some embarrassing situations.

“When I’m going to be on camera, people whip me into something that people can look at a little bit more easily, but right now, I cannot claim to you that I’m wearing a bra or that I look at all presentable,” Schumer told BuzzFeed last Thursday, connecting by phone while she sat in an airport lounge while suffering from the nausea of eating too many yogurt-covered raisins.

“I look like a newly homeless person, and the people doing PR on this show are like, ‘Can you please get it together?’” she added with a laugh. “Somebody just took pictures of me wearing a poncho on the subway the other day and posted them. I get recognized a lot right now and it’s embarrassing because I always look like straight up garbage.”

She’s probably being modest — self-deprecation is a comedian’s best friend — but either way, she’s obviously doing something right.

Brad Barket / Getty Images

The first sketch of this show that I watched was the one about the 2 Girls 1 Cup audition, and I was just thinking, what happened to the guy that made that?

Amy Schumer: That scene was my idea, and that was actually on the pilot, so we filmed that a year and a half ago now. I always think about that stuff. I’ll watch a porn and I’ll think about that girl walking to her car after the shoot, some mundane thing, and I’ll think, “What was the casting process like for that?” Did they know that girl, were they friends? Were they like, okay, we have showers here or do they have a van and take them to an outhouse?

And then they just go home and cook dinner?

AS: I know. Do they stop at a Wendy’s or something?

It’s good that you’re at Comedy Central, because knowing your stand-up, I can imagine the fights right away at standards and practices at a network.

AS: It’s funny, I seriously don’t even think of myself as being dirty or anything, but when we’re going through the show to pick a clip for a late night talk show, I’m like, fuck, I don’t even know. We go through scenes and it’s like, “No, I get molested in that scene… that’s about rape.” It’s really hard.

On that topic, there has been a re-sparked debate over the last year and the last few months over rape jokes.

AS: I think rape jokes are fine, but I also think rape is fine. No, I’m just kidding. The way I feel about rape jokes is the way I feel about any jokes. If it’s funny, it’s fine with me. The whole Tosh thing and all that, I’ll always get a comedian’s back, unless it’s a crazy Kramer rant. I’ll always get a comic’s back. You’re just trying to figure it out. If you say a joke and the crowd responds in a way that’s like, “No, we’re not really on board with that,” you change it or don’t do it. But for these smaller live shows that comics are doing in their cities to prepare for TV or larger shows, I just feel like everybody should back off, even if it’s a rape joke or whatever. If it’s not funny then it’s just annoying anyway, and it just makes it a little more annoying that it’s a joke about the worst thing you can do.

Those small shows are very policed in a way by camera phones now.

AS: Yeah, it’s so unacceptable. I talk about rape in my TV show, and I’m not trying to make light of it and say “who cares.” I’m kind of sort of bringing up the conversation that it happens a lot and it’s not cool. I was waiting for the backlash on that, but it didn’t happen, and I think it’s because people saw my intentions.

The other big issue of late is joke stealing.

AS: Oh right, Patton’s thing.

It seems like the two worst things to be on Twitter is Chris Brown or Joke thief.

AS: You’re right. Oh, if they get caught. That’s just like the rape of Twitter — it’s so disgusting to steal someone’s joke. Yeah, I think it’s totally awful. I tweeted a joke the other day and a couple of people are like, “That’s a Louis CK joke.” And I was like, “Oh…” And I checked it out and said, “Oh, that is kind of like that joke,” and I said “Sorry, didn’t realize,” and deleted it.

So you did this show, but you also sold a script to Sony. What happened with that?

AS: I had a deal with Sony. Which like, I never had a deal before, so I didn’t know that happened. I thought Sony made music. The people in LA are very crafty, they were like, Sony is going to go around with you to the four networks and pitch a show. I sold a script to CBS. So I got the deal with Sony and was possibly going to be network bound and then Comedy Central was like, “We’re going to shoot a pilot with you.” So I didn’t believe they’d ever pick up the show, but I knew they were looking to fill a spot around The Daily Show and Colbert. And I kind of figured they wanted a talk show, we projected that on them, that was what the late night vibe was.

And then Jesse Klein, who is the head writer and one of the EPs, we just went out and she had too much wine and was like, “I think you’re squandering this opportunity and you should make the show of your dreams,” just a drunk back and forth between two white girls in the West Village. So I called Dan Powell, who was the other EP and said forget that, let’s make this other kind of show that I’ve always wanted to make. And then CBS passed on my show. I was doing rewrites while filming my pilot, it was a very crazy stressful time.

What was that Sony/CBS show going to be about?

AS: Oh god, what was it about? I swear to you, I barely remember, it was not close to my heart. And it changed, they’re like, “What if she’s a stand-up?” and I was like, “Oh, okay.” I think it changed… Oh, I lived with my friend, me and this girl, we lived together, we were 30 year olds and not growing up, and she got knocked up from this random dude. And she was like, “I’m like 30, I should keep it,” so we were going to be kind of raising a baby and navigating that. And thank god they didn’t pick up, it was, I don’t even know. What’s episode two? I don’t know, she decides to get rid of the baby? I have no idea.

I found an interview you did in 2008. Did you think you’d get to this point so quickly?

AS: Well first of all, I want to say that my apartment in Astoria was bigger than my apartment now, only that it’s not in Astoria and I don’t have roaches calling over my face at night. That’s really sad now that I think about it. Now I just pay thousands of dollars more to have a stranger get packages for me and judge me when I get home at night. This is such bullshit. I’m paying so much more and it’s significantly smaller.

I always saw myself working my ass off until I got somewhere. I was lucky getting Last Comic Standing at 23 that I got to shave off a couple years, more than a couple years, in stand-up. That show totally changed my path. I got to make a living doing stand-up and got to quit making drinks. But to be honest, I always knew I’d do the work to get there.

Do you wanna do movies and other stuff?

AS: I think so. God, I want to be cool and be like, “Nope, just stand-up bro, just give me a microphone and a single lightbulb over my head,” and yeah, I want to continue stand-up, but I also want to make and be in movies. I’ve gotten so spoiled controlling every aspect of this show, so just being on a set right now, it seems like the most desirable thing.

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