The name of the panel is Inside Inside Amy Schumer. There were so many deliciously raunchy options that they could’ve gone with. Like, Deep Inside Amy Schumer. But, no. They had to take a beautifully dirty title, and make it, dare I say, CLEAN! I was worried that this meant that we would be getting a watered down version of Amy Schumer tonight’s event. I was worried that maybe this meant that Amy Schumer wasn’t so raunchy on the inside. I’m starting to think that I worry too much.
The event opened up with a brief promotional reel showing a bunch of 3-5 second clips from the next season of the show. It was pretty entertaining, and very well done. At no point did I feel that anything was getting “spoiled.” We were then treated to an amazing clip from the upcoming Season 2. It was a beautiful piece where Amy Schumer is visited by God, played by Paul Giamatti. I’m not going to say much about it, other than the fact that it was a fantastic clip. Usually events like this come loaded with clips throughout the night. Happily, this was the end of using the projector, so the rest of the evening was devoted to some of the funniest writers in comedy.
Local comedian Kelly Anneken moderated the panel, which consisted of Schumer, alongside the team that helped her create the show: Writer Jessi Klein, Show Runner Dan Powell, and current writers Kurt Metzger and Kim Schumer Caramele. The latter happens to be Amy’s sister. The latter also happened to be a school psychologist before getting tapped to help write the show. This distinction is very important in terms of her influence on the show.
The event started out unassuming enough. Anneken opened with a pretty basic questions: “How did you manage to sell Comedy Central on a show that was one part sketch, one part stand up, and one part interview?” Essentially, Comedy Central originally wanted a talk show, and they created one. Then, the day before they were to present the show, Powell and Klein convinced Schumer to do something more heartfelt, so they scrapped everything and created a whole new show in a day. Something that consisted of man on the street interviews inspired by “Real Sex” on HBO, stand up, and short theatrical bits. Sketch wasn’t really the intent, but that’s what things evolved into with time. The only writer with a sketch background was Jessi Klein, who spent time on Saturday Night Live. (And, yes, I know you are about to Google her. She’s also a regular panelist on Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!.) The show was originally called Come Inside Amy Schumer.
The beginning was amusing. However, things kind of moved into a whole new brand of chaos when the conversation moved over to a topic near and dear to the show’s heart. The show’s relationship with the organization designed to make sure that the content of the show won’t scare off advertisers. We are talking about “Standards & Practices.” That’s when the different panelists really had a chance to shine. You could tell who cut their teeth in comedy clubs, and who were the behind the scenes folks. Although, yes, it was Schumer’s show, the real stars of the panel were Klein and Metzger. These two folks are extremely funny, especially when discussing, at length, things that couldn’t be said on the air. For example, “50 Guy Cream Pie” was not OK because apparently it’s a real movie. Hiring young looking 18 year olds to do a commercial for finger-shaped chicken strips and vagina-shaped dipping sauces is totally fine. Pelting Amy with yogurt is really not OK. And each episode comes with about 100 pages of notes for things that need to be “bleeped.” Obviously.
The panel was fun, although, for such a brash show, it was one of the shyest Q+A’s ever. Only a small number of people in the sold out room spoke up. We did learn a lot, such as the fact that she received death threats over a joke about wishing Jackass star Steve O died instead of Ryan Dunn. Or, when asked about being in a relationship with a fellow comic while you exceed the other one in terms of success, she basically said that she couldn’t make it work. Both of these were very honest and somewhat dark moments in an otherwise light affair. It helped show Schumer in a way that she doesn’t often present herself. And she seemed thrilled by the fact that she was able to be that honest with a room full of strangers.