Irreverence Reigns Supreme
Amy Schumer at the Verizon Center

Fresh off the release of her book, “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo,” Amy Schumer has wasted no time getting back on the road with a nationwide stand-up tour. On Sept. 23, Schumer graced the stage of the Verizon Center with her typical fashion sense — painfully high heels — which eventually got tossed aside, and a hefty bottle of white wine.

Opener Rachel Feinstein, a fellow comedian who has appeared on “Inside Amy Schumer” and in her own Comedy Central specials, kicked the show off to a strong, sarcastic start. As the audience waited impatiently for the star of the show, Schumer made her way out onto stage, wine bottle in hand. A Towson University graduate, Schumer joked about being local, which received a few cheers, and went on to add that nothing could really shock the people of D.C.

Schumer cracked a few opening jokes about her recent Bud Light commercials, relating them to a few of her funniest drinking experiences as a college student. She described how once she had come out of a drunken blackout as if she was waking up suddenly from a dream only to realize that her dream was actually a real-life drunken stupor.

Tying her prop into the show, Schumer assured the audience that her wine was real, despite previously responding to audience queries with an incredulous “are you kidding me?” It was clear that Schumer knew her audience well, landing joke after joke about her binge drinking and sexual misadventures in college, leaving the crowd of predominantly young women howling with laughter.

From the hilarious misadventures of her undergraduate years to her current relationship with her boyfriend, she wove a common thread throughout the routine. Though admittedly blunt, raunchy and shocking, Schumer’s humor is undeniably relatable. Although she was often the butt of her own jokes, Schumer never relinquished control of the narrative, making it clear that the power to portray herself was hers and hers alone.

She was able to incorporate jokes about passing out from drinking and having casual sex but always did so in such an honest, raw and grounded way that the audience could let its guard down and relate to each mishap or embarrassing moment.

Aside from the cringe-inducing stories, Schumer also made sure to include accounts that supported her self-described reputation as the world’s “worst celebrity.” Comically relating the routine she did for Hillary Clinton’s birthday party, she slipped in that she tried to leave early several times. Her excuse? “I’m an introvert, and it’s just that, well, I have this leftover pasta waiting for me, and I’m gonna go home and eat it in the dark.”

Despite the hyper-sexualized, party-girl image many people attribute to Schumer, with this incident she subtly proved that she is just like everybody else: sometimes she does not want to stay for the party, even if that party happens to be for a former secretary of state. Defending her relatable desire to leave early, Schumer quipped, “Madam Secretary of what, exactly?”

Glenna Roberts (SFS ’18) found an empowering narrative within Schumer’s trademark humor.
“Amy Schumer is so funny, because I can see parts of myself, and any empowered woman, in her. She’s funny because she’s real. Your body, your sexuality, your sense of humor and your personality are all uniquely yours, and being able to laugh at ourselves while also shaping our own image is both comforting and empowering,” Roberts said.

With her blatant disregard for societal constraints and her refusal to bow to anyone’s will but her own, Schumer showed her comedy to be multifaceted and dynamic. Perhaps more impressively, underlying her performance is a strong, powerful woman who is as smart as she is funny and as formidable as she is self-deprecating.

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