Everyone loves Amy. Except me and one brave female Facebook friend of mine, that is. To my friend’s credit, she boldly went where no thirty-ish woman dare go in social media. Her post was simple: “Amy Schumer isn’t funny.” Gasp! A millennial woman who doesn’t find everyone’s It-Girl appealing?! Doesn’t she know it is blasphemous to disavow allegiance to the Holy Trinity of Chickdom: Lena, Kim and Amy? (Sorry, Caitlyn, you aren’t there yet. Get in line behind Hedwig.)
The comments rolled in slowly. Some friends expressed shock. Others dared to agree. “Her Apollo show wasn’t even funny!” Thank God, I’m not the only white middle-class chick in her mid-thirties who thought so.
I settled into my DVR with great anticipation. After all, Amy’s recent interview in Glamour was worth a chuckle and her show, well… it’s not Saturday Night Live and that’s a compliment, right? C’mon, how bad can a standup routine be?
It can be that bad.
Actually, to be fair, Schumer’s much-famed Apollo show-turned-HBO special wasn’t bad, per se. It was just rote in that stereotypical thirty-something white girl kinda way. Standing before a similarly white, hipster audience, a blonde chick with a foul mouth essentially confessed that she likes to talk about sex. Case in point: Schumer began her routine with a gag about dirty underwear. Somewhere toward the end she dropped a joke about giving oral sex to Uber drivers. The middle was a forgettable montage of awkward sex comedy featuring abortion gags and fat jokes. The grand finale was nothing more than a defense of women who like sex. If Schumer were that chick at a frat house with a Pabst in her hand, riling up half-drunk guys with bawdy humor before deciding which one would be her mark for the evening, I’d get it. A premium-pay comedy special? HBO, I know you’re into Lena Dunham and all, but can you please spare me your over-hyped shenanigans?
Schumer is a product of pop. There is nothing uniquely original about what she says or how she says it. What’s worse, there’s nothing uniquely original about Schumer. This is no Joan Rivers. Fifty years from now Schumer will be a blip in a basic cable “I Love The ‘Teens” flashback series. Some future hipster will begin their lame gag with, “Remember that female comedian whats-her-name?” Joan Rivers was many things, including a comic, but above all she was Joan Rivers. The gods of pop culture can try to make us believe in an Amy Schumer, but they can only give us the girl from high school who wasn’t attractive enough to be popular, but was funny enough to be friends with everyone. You know, the girl who paid real good attention in her liberal arts classes, adopted the tropes, followed the fashion advice and lived to tell the tale. Of course you know her, because if you’re an average white chick you are her in one form or another. How do you believe in, let alone want to emulate someone who is already exactly like you?