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Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo (2015)

With her bold, straightforward style of comedy, Amy Schumer entertains the audience at the Apollo Theater in New York.

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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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With her bold, straightforward style of comedy, Amy Schumer entertains the audience at the Apollo Theater in New York.

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17 October 2015 (USA)  »

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Amy Schumer: Élőben az Apollo színházból  »

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Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Amy Schumer/The Weeknd (2015) See more »

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Recognize that if you prevented Schumer from talking about sex and food, her material would struggle to fulfill the length requirements of an SNL skit
4 November 2015 | by See all my reviews

In Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo, Schumer's hour-long HBO special filmed at the glorious Apollo theater in New York, Schumer expresses shock at the fact that she's been labeled as a "sex comic." She makes the understandable assertion that a male comic could come on stage, whip out his genitals, and still be labeled as a thinker while she has immediately been branded as a comic who focuses largely on sex and grossout humor. Her point would have validity if you weren't able to take all the parts that talk about sex, semen, sex acts, and other wonders and insights about intercourse out of Live at the Apollo and be left with roughly twenty-five minutes of material. And considering Schumer's breakout movie Trainwreck featured a character who was hellbent on having as many one-night-stands as a weekend would allow and her show Inside Amy Schumer features a great deal of racy music videos, I find it pretty appropriate to bill Schumer as a sex comic. There's nothing wrong with that label, but when a comedian makes an effort to reject the label and then continues to talk about the content that makes her earn the label, then something is drearily wrong with her ability to look introspectively at herself.

Schumer's comedy is as bold as it is repetitive; it's a different kind of self-deprecation that basks in the sort of revealing and subversive attitude Schumer is so unapologetic about. If nothing else, she's not afraid to hide behind any kind of celebrity name or beat around the bush; she's not afraid to say things that will make you wince every now and then. Consider how she opens Live at the Apollo, by saying she met one of her goals this year, which was to take off a pair of underwear and have them not look like she blew her nose into them. She even goes on to talk at great length about how semen is under-appreciated and that Oprah could've easily ended up on a woman's breasts and that Michelle Obama likely has to clean up Barack Obama's "troops" from between her legs every week or so. This kind of humor and comedic brazenness (and honesty) is welcomed, but with that should come the ability to highlight and make note that your label of a sex comic is a fairly accurate one even if you say it isn't.

Live at the Apollo is mostly good fun, but the repetitive aspects come when Schumer, like many comedians and young people today, feels the need to constantly reiterate her love for food and eating much of it. These jokes are tired, and are terrible attempts to pander to young people who go nuts on social media when Jennifer Lawrence says something at the Academy Awards about simply wanting to know where the food is. The obsession comedians have when they talk about their excessive dietary habits are tired, worn clichés of the highest order, and Schumer noting that she often has two lunches and wants to pour the entire bag of popcorn over her face while on a date at the theater is nothing new or funny, despite her acting like it is.

If nothing else, this special showcases Schumer's composure and charisma when talking about the raciest subject matter. She always keeps a straight face and never seems to be laughing at her own material, and at an hour, her stay is welcomed and not overlong or noticeably underwritten. Her schtick only grows tired and worn if you recognize that if you prevented her from talking about sex and food, her material may struggle to fulfill the length requirements of a Saturday Night Live skit.

NOTE: Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo will air throughout the entire month of November 2015 on HBO.

Directed by: Chris Rock.


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