Sketches from Inside Amy Schumer
There’s a group of well-meaning white Americans whose worldviews have been so severely polluted by institutionalized racial stereotypes that it can be dangerous to be with them in public. They go by many names, but many of us refer to them simply as “parents” or “Grandma.” Fortunately for us, Schumer—who I’d guess has some experience with this phenomenon—has cooked up a solution. Like so many of her best sketches, “Generations” is funny because it’s true, and it’s true because people are terrible.
It would be wrong to spoil anything about this sketch beyond what’s suggested by its title, but “Third Date” craftily engages with a certain predicament that’s no longer the hot-button issue it used to be. Just take a taste.
“Unpleasant Truths” is a glorious testament to the talents of Kurt Metzger (Ben), who brings a crucial sincerity to Schumer’s most oafishly insane male characters and injects an incredible degree of poetry into the phrase “Mexican Internet.” Also, keep your ears peeled for a classic reference to the mysterious, polyamorous “Darflin,” whose name becomes a catchall for the show’s unseen ranks of neglected wives.
Against all odds, somehow the best thing about this sketch isn’t the fact that it will completely eradicate any lingering morbid curiosity you might have to watch “2 Girls, 1 Cup.” Revisiting the casting session/table-read behind one of the most notorious viral videos in the bleak history of the Internet, this bit hinges on how you have to think that some version of this conversation actually happened. It’s filled with little moments of comedy gold (Flavia offering Amy a bite of food is a genius touch), and capped off with a truly priceless kicker.
Josh Charles owes his career to Aaron Sorkin, so the fact that he stars in this parody of the Sports Night creator’s patented writing style might lead you to expect nothing more than some good-natured ribbing. Not exactly. “The Foodroom” isn’t exactly malicious, but in surgically transplanting Sorkin’s most classic tropes to the low-stakes world of a fast-food restaurant, Schumer flays the casual misogyny and hilarious self-seriousness of his brilliant (if inflexible) television worlds.
A preview of the comic chemistry between Schumer and her Trainwreck co-star Bill Hader, “Celebrity Interview” ruthlessly skewers the banal sexism of talk-show interviews, mocking the hosts for drooling on the Hollywood starlets who drop by. Always an equal opportunity offender, however, Schumer also lampoons the female actors who willingly diminish themselves in a transparent attempt to appear more accessible to the teen boys who buy most of America’s movie tickets. Also: Darflin!
The third season of Schumer’s show premiered just as she was becoming a household name, and she welcomed herself into the elite group of female comedians with a sketch that illustrated exactly why she belongs there. Hollywood sexism is an unfortunately familiar topic, but “Last Fuckable Day” displays Schumer’s gift for reframing the entrenched ugliness of pop culture in a way that highlights (and savagely ridicules) the status quo.
It’s pretty simple: Rachel Dratch is a national treasure. Yes, “Pretentious Hotel” is also a brilliantly sardonic look at transparency, and how sometimes the hardest part of enjoying yourself is living the lie that you actually deserve to be pampered. But really, it’s about how Rachel Dratch is a superhero, and television is better with her on it.
One of Schumer’s longest sketches, “Football Town Nights” is also one of her best. Reteaming with “The Foodroom” co-star Josh Charles, Schumer leverages a spot-on parody of Friday Night Lights into an blistering damning of rape culture and the communal effort involved in helping to enable it. Schumer’s endlessly growing wine glass is an all-timer of a sight gag.
The first Inside Amy Schumer sketch that made people sit up and pay attention, “Compliments” gets to the heart of what makes Schumer such a vital comedic force: sudden outbursts of intense violence. Okay, there are other things, too. The most succinct proof of Schumer’s gift for ending a sketch a million miles away from where it began, this two-minute bit is also a masterpiece of character-driven comic escalation, as well as an urgent reminder that our mutual insecurities are all that keep us from going full Thunderdome.