‘Inside Amy Schumer’ goes deeper

Inside Amy Schumer
Schumer scowls at “interracial wedding photographer” Michael Ian Black touts his services. Credit: Matthew Payton

Amy Schumer isn’t just in it for the laughs anymore. As the second season of “Inside Amy Schumer” begins (Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central), so do sketches, stand-up and interview segments that ask more of their audience than to sit back and giggle.

“I guess because my profile as a comedian has gone up and people are watching the show, I feel a little bit more responsibility to be actually saying something,” Schumer says of the new season, in a voice that’s significantly more vulnerable than the brassy bellow she uses onstage. “Something” in this case can mean anything from sketches poking fun at misogyny in comedy to stand-up about being insecure.

In one sketch, a focus group of men respond to pointed questions regarding a show by a woman (who goes unnamed). As the focus group leader asks increasingly leading questions — “But how did you like how she looked?” — the men devolve into buffoonery; a second later, Schumer is interviewing a porn producer, or asking New Yorkers about their dating lives in man-on-the-street segments.

But for those who are just fine with comedy and television the way they are, season 2 of “Inside Amy Schumer” revels in the same absurd silliness that made its first season such a standout. “I watched a lot of ‘The Twilight Zone’ growing up, and I feel like a lot of the scenes enter ‘The Twilight Zone.’ My mind goes to the absurd,” Schumer says. So don’t be surprised when comedian Michael Ian Black steps into the frame selling his services as an “interracial wedding photographer” or a fake commercial peddling “finger blasters” snacks.

Along for the absurdist ride is a cadre of guest stars that Schumer says she feels lucky to have booked based on the first season’s popularity. Actors and comedians like Zach Braff, Mike Birbiglia and Paul Giamatti make appearances. Absurdity eclipses any message when Schumer and Giamatti make out, and that’s just fine.

What she’s watching
Schumer does stand-up five nights a week, so she says it’s hard to find time to zone out in front of the TV; but when she does, it’s usually with her sister. “There’s this really insane show called ‘Total Divas’ about female [WWE] wrestlers. My sister and I like to drink some wine and watch that show.” Schumer also says she loves the show “Broad City” and hopes to share the screen with Maria Bamford one day.

“I’m really proud of the first season, but I feel like this season is so much stronger, more clear and less apologetic. I feel like as you get older, you have something more to say.”


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