Do the dolts who think that women aren’t funny finally feel stupid? If they watched last night’s Season 3 premiere of Inside Amy Schumer, they sure should have. Every single sketch examined gender relations in ways that were playful, unexpected, and hilarious. Exposing the stupidity of men and the bullshit they get away with has long been an m.o. of Schumer’s, but there was a consistency throughout last night’s episode that I hadn’t yet witnessed on Inside. The show felt pointedly political and was better for it.
Take “Milk Milk Lemonade,” a parody of a hip-hop ode to ass that begins, “Milk, milk, lemonade / Milk, milk, lemonade / Milk, milk, lemonade / ‘Round the corner, fudge is made,” and puts a finer point on that last line throughout the song. “This is where our poop comes out,” Schumer’s chorus chants toward the end of the song, and then finally: “This is what you think is hot.”
Ass can be gross and hot, much like Schumer can be funny and true at once.
Then there was “Football Town Nights,” a Friday Night Lights parody featuring Schumer as the white wine-guzzling wife of a high-school football coach who comes to town with a revolutionary message: don’t rape.
The rape joke here is not on the potential target but on the entitled assholes reaching for a consent loophole. The joke here is also on the size of Schumer’s wine glass.
Maybe the most searing commentary came with help from guests Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette in a sketch called “Last Fuckable Day.”
In it, Schumer encounters heroes of hers dining in a meadow to celebrate Dreyfus’s “Last Fuckable Day.” “In every actress’s life, the media decides when you finally reach the point where you’re not believably fuckable anymore,” chirps the actress who’s about to be put out to pasture. Specific examples follow (like Sally Field going from playing Tom Hanks’s love interest in Punchline to his mom in Forrest Gump). And then the revelation that barely needs to be spoken but lands like a bomb nonetheless: “Men don’t have that day!”
The episode also featured Schumer riffing on older men with younger women during standup, a faux commercial for birth control called OrthoEsterin (the gag was that in order to obtain it, you had to ask your doctor, your boss, your boss’s priest, a Boy Scout, a mailman, and on and on), an interview with trans woman Bailey Jay, and some more standup riffing about culture’s portrayal of the difference between men’s and women’s relationship with sex.
Far be it from me to even suggest how women publicly cope with misogyny’s stronghold on the world, but what I love about Schumer is that she doesn’t merely invert the binary and spit out generic misandry. I understand why that’s fun and cathartic, but Schumer’s way is as refined as it is barbed. Her targets are well-chosen, her jokes are sharp. She mines idiocy for material and the result is satire so honed that it reads straightforwardly (especially in “Last Fuckable Day”). If you are smart, there is nothing intimidating about Schumer’s comedy. If you aren’t, she already has your number.