Just For Laughs Chicago: An Interview With Amy Schumer
The day after her killer set during the Just For Laughs Chicago, we got the opportunity to sit down with Amy Schumer to talk about hecklers, selling sex, and training like a boxer for the taping of her new one-hour stand-up special.
Awesome job last night, holy shitballs!
Aww, thanks!! Did you see me ruin that girl’s life?
The pretty one up front?
Mmhmm…she was taking pictures of my vagina!!
I thought it was her boyfriend.
No…they were both. She was like, “spread your legs more!” and I was like…
And I still warned her, “Do you want to do this?”
Well, you gave her a chance to stop
She was like, “Yeah” and I just looked right at her and asked, “when’s the last time you saw your dad?”
And you should have seen her face, she was just… like she submitted. She was like, “okay, okay.” I was like, “I see you. I SEE you. Don’t.”
She got up and left though!
I don’t know if it was right after that, or sometime…
She went to try to find her biological father.
But I’m a teacher like that. I warn you, and then I…and I could see this girl has not seen her dad. So, that’s it. I’m sorry.
You mess with the Jew, you get the horns. What do you want?
It was fantastic overall
I’m doing my closer, and I have to do that right before it ends.
It interrupted the set too! I mean you were in your flow…
I mean to be up there for an hour, doing your jokes that you’ve been working on for the better part of a decade, and have someone just be trying to take pictures of your vagina! That’s grounds for saying something kind of biting, right?
Absolutely! You have integrity, and you’ve got to stick with it.
I was like, “bitch!”
I love your comedy. I think it’s fantastic.
Thank you! Thanks a lot.
But I also noticed some of the folks last night were seeing you for the first time and might not have known the back history of Miss Amy. It was hilarious watching them.
Watching them squirm?
Well I can’t pander to that. I have no interest in toning it down so it’s – palatable for everybody.
That’s what I was wondering, did you ever have a family member, or a friend, who you were like, “Oh. That one person in the family, they go to church every Sunday.”
No! I’m a sociopath. Last night I knew there were bathroom attendants there and I still did 5 minutes about how useless bathroom attendants are.
You did it quietly though!
Yeah my sister was like, “you were whispering into a microphone.” I was, “should I not?” and then I thought, “nah, they don’t speak English.” Let’s be real right now.
*laughs* That’s the bad thing about stereotypes.
*laughs* I noticed some newlywed couples. Seeing them squirm. You should be some type of marriage counselor as well.
Just part time, just to let them know, “this isn’t going to work, you don’t talk about…”
“Let’s talk about the flaws in your relationship.” Magazines like Cosmo have asked, “Will you do an advice column?” I respond, “Do you think I know about functional relationships? Do you hear? I know about semen. That’s something I can tell you about, but I have no advice to give anyone.” Because I’m the authority on one thing, they think, “Can you help people?” I respond, “No! I’ve got nothing for you.”
*laughs* That’s beautiful. Your heels too! You were talking about your heels
Yeah! I was practicing.
For an hour special next week, you said.
Mhmm. Filming it a week from Saturday.
Do you mind talking about that a little bit? What’s going on there?
I’m filming it in San Francisco, at the Filmore. Two shows on Saturday night. Last night was a big nice theater, so I wanted to dress up. Usually I dress newly homeless. No one ever thinks, “oh the headliner is here.” They usually think, “we don’t have any change.” I wear old cowboy boots, and there’s nothing feminine about it. One of my newer things is talking about how annoying, it’s so annoying to get ready to go out as a female. It doesn’t work ‘cause I’m dressed so shitty on stage. The crowd thinks, “how would YOU know?” Look at me right now. This isn’t acceptable. These are yoga pants.
This isn’t a real – this is not a bra, like this doesn’t count as a bra. I think, “Oh, there are buttons, so it’s like a bra!” No… Yeah so, I practice in the heels, and I can do it, I can do it.
Why the heels though for the special? Is that like part of the gig?
It’s a big nice show. It’s an hour special, and it’ll be out there forever, or until the world ends. Try and get the legs going ya know? My philosophy, the first time I did a special for Comedy Central, people are flipping around on the TV seal-like and think, “A female comedian, what’s on next?” But if they think, “Oh, she’s wearing a dress! There’s some legs… she has boobs. Maybe I’ll watch for one second.” They hear me by accident and then they stay tuned. It’s a little bit of a trick on my part.
Pulls ‘em in…
Yeah, and I’m not saying I’m the most slammin’ girl ever! But, some of the chicks in porn, I’m as good as those… monsters. I think they’ll stay tuned for at least 90 seconds until they decide whether or not they like my stand-up.
So you support that sex sells then?
Well I’m not in denial about it. People are trying to take pictures of my vagina on stage! I mean, come on! We can’t lie about that.
*laughs* You had a huge Rolling Stone article recently…
You know what was a bummer was about that? We sent them a bunch of pictures. I just did a photo shoot, and gave them over. They were like, “mmm… we found a picture from when you were younger we’re going to go with.” It’s from four years ago, they’re like, “we want to do it when you were still fuckable.” And I was like, “what about these? I took them yesterday.” They were like, “ Woah!! Time has NOT been kind!” But it was really exciting.
Well I was going to ask you if they were nice to you or not, but it seems like…
No, they were nice. It was nice to be in there. I didn’t really understand what it was. They were, “Oh, well it’s an issue, but it’s not on stands.” So I thought no one is ever going to see it. Actually, a bunch of people wrote to me and said that they saw it. Yeah! Rolling Stone!
Hell yeah! Big time. What are you going to do the rest of the week here? Are they shipping you out soon?
I’m here ‘till Saturday. Got a lot of shows. I’m doing a lot of shows… hanging out with my sister. I’ve been boxing lately, so after this I have a session. Because I’m not drinking before my special, and I haven’t had sex in a month in a half, so it’s kind of my only outlet. Yeah… so I just, I need to punch some shit!
*laughs* So if anyone comes into the room, you’re just going to punch them?
Yeah, if anybody gets in my way. Seriously. I don’t care if they’re elderly… a child. Get out of my way! So I’ll just do a bunch of shows and box during the day. And drink a lot of coffee.
Hell yeah. Well, Amy, we appreciate the time.
Thanks a lot! And keep on crushing it.
Oh I’m going to do my best.
Photos: Linda Matlow
Brian Elles is an actor, comedian, and writer currently living in Chicago. Brian peruses to find the truth in comedy through improvisation, sketch review, parodies, and stand-up. Follow him on his website or Twitter @EllesExperience.