Love her, loathe her —there’s simply no ignoring Amy Schumer these days. The 34-year old dynamo went from being a fourth-place contestant on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to one of the most respected comedians seemingly overnight. And yet, her astonishing ascent is the result of years of toiling in obscurity and honing her material —sex-obsessed and occasionally horrific as it may be— into the razor-sharp comic voice. Schumer’s fearless, heartfelt lead performance in Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck” bowled me over when I saw the film earlier this year: while the rest of the movie is a funny but fairly standard female-centric riff on the typical Apatovian comedy of perpetually arrested development, Schumer imbues her every line reading and every seemingly insignificant gesture with a sort of modest beauty and honesty. She’s a joy to watch and the best thing in the movie by a mile. If you’re curious as to who exactly Schumer is and how she got her start, this new podcast —hosted by pal and fellow comic Michael Ian Black— will come as a useful primer.
In her hour-long chat with Black, Schumer comes across as a slightly more relaxed version of her now-famous public persona. That is to say, she’s filthy, very funny, acutely self-aware and refreshingly, unabashedly candid about nearly any subject you can think of. She begins by discusses her upbringing, when the beloved Jerky Boys CDs of her adolescence helped to shape her comic voice, and how her supportive parents gave her the confidence that would see her feminist inclinations blossoming in their totality. Schumer is a born raconteur, spinning tales like a pretty painful-sounding standoff with comedy legend Jerry Lewis that took place at a Friar’s Club roast in her hometown of New York City, or how Apatow helped her create an authorial voice that would eventually manifest as the screenplay for “Trainwreck.”
Listen to the entire podcast below and check out Amy Schumer alongside Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton and Lebron James (!) in “Trainwreck”, in theatres July 17th.