Inside Amy Schumer flaunts its subversive smarts

With a gay god, a horde of dudes in a focus group and a porn producer, the second season of the sketch show is off to a great start

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer Photograph: Peter Yang

Comedy Central aired the season premiere of Inside Amy Schumer last night (“Would You Bang Her”), reinforcing the formula it established in the previous season while bringing more of the wicked cleverness that made it a success. There are sketches, bits of Schumer’s stand-up (filmed at Joe's Pub), quick interviews with pedestrians and a longer Q&A—the latter of which is with a porn editor and producer called Gabe.

The promotional posters on subways hit on what makes the show work well: Two identical photos of Schumer side by side, one identifying her as “Hot” and the other as “Mess,” which you can read together or separately. As often as Schumer plays to her looks on the show (and in her stand-up), she makes herself the lusty, disheveled and desperate butt of the joke. This episode finds a whiny Schumer bargaining about her herpes with God (played with droll delight by Paul Giamatti); as an ineffective ’70s secretary trying to please her boss; and as an Anna Kournikova stand-in called “Schumerenka” playing sexy tennis against a sweaty, grunting Bridget Everett. No matter the sketch, however, the goal is to flip standard perceptions about women on their heads.

Fittingly, the title sketch is a focus group of men evaluating last year’s show; despite the leader’s straightforward questions about whether the show was funny, the guys can’t stop talking about whether or not they would bang Schumer, how much they prefer body shots to face shots and the side-boob quotient. Even the guy who says he appreciates the show’s “feminist bent on a male-dominated network” agrees he’d enjoy it more if Schumer had “a better dumper.” When the scene finally reveals Schumer standing behind a one-way mirror, she’s shocked. The animal men who have just degraded her swarm across the table for their pay: beef sticks and energy drinks. Schumer asks the group leader to confirm that a couple of the guys said they would bang her, and he agrees. She smiles, joyful and relieved, and then turns to the camera—implicating us and inviting us in at the same time. It’s a delightful, knowing start.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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