James Brown sang that it's a man's world, and Jerry Lewis said that there's no such thing as a funny woman. Then comes Amy Schumer, the foul-mouthed, cherubic comic that takes their words and makes them look like unenlightened cavemen.
As a successful comedian, Schumer still comes under scrutiny simply for being a woman, but she also has unbreakable self-confidence. Perhaps it was born from her mother's support, or maybe it had more to do with standing up to relentless bullies in school.
Still, she wouldn't change a thing.
"Being bullied was a big part of me getting into comedy," she said. "I don't regret the tears because they're vital in making people laugh."
Schumer's big break came in the fifth season of Last Comic Standing, but she's become much more popular in the last several year. Her ridiculously-powerful appearances on Comedy Central's Roast series, including Roseanne Barr and Charlie Sheen, put her on the map.
But opportunities don't make the comic, the jokes do. It's like watching a baby give the middle finger or watching a clown get road rage. Even Schumer's Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, makes reference to her penchant for "going there."
"I don't think of myself as a 'dirty' comic," Schumer said. "There's an experience we have, but I kind of made a decision to be honest and open with everybody, and people really seem to enjoy it."
Her openness and lack of filter draws audiences in and nabbed that second season for Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central. It's also the reason she's appearing at the Adrienne Arscht Center Tuesday, Feb. 18. A quick scan of her sketches give some insight of what to expect: sexting, abusive couples, one night stands, and the coup de tat, the reality of a gang bang.
Schumer gets strong reactions to her comedy, and sadly, they're not all positive. The bullying continues, but Schumer fights against silent anti-feminine stigmas. It never goes so far as to be foremost on a critics lips, but behind most men's reactions to her comedy, is the ever present judgment: is the funny girl funny enough to sleep with?
Thankfully, she's not alone. Her recent success and raunchy style is echoed by other comediennes including Nikki Glaser, Melissa McCarthy, and Whitney Cummings. The stigma surrounding female comics is breaking broken away, one f-bomb and dirty tampon joke at a time.
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Amy Schumer, Tuesday, Feb 18, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $37.50 to $45 plus fees via arshtcenter.org. Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshcenter.org.
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