THE SHOW "Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo"
WHEN / WHERE Saturday night at 10 on HBO
WHAT IT'S ABOUT In a show directed by Chris Rock and taped May 29, the Long Island-raised comic talks about her life (specifically her sex life); the Hollywood scene; dieting; not dieting; 20-somethings and their unfounded, bouncy optimism before becoming 30-somethings, and more.
MY SAY Sometime during the past year, the Amy Schumer Moment turned into Moments, then into Hours, and now -- officially -- we're into the Amy Schumer Day. So much has happened over the course of this Day. There were Emmy nominations, and a win, for "Inside Amy Schumer." She's opened for Madonna. She's writing a movie with Jennifer Lawrence -- the hottest actress mind-melding with the hottest standup. Schumer also starred in a movie she wrote.
About that. On July 23, a gunman shot up a theater in Louisiana where "Trainwreck" was playing. Two young women were killed, nine people injured. Thrust into the gun debate, Schumer promised to use her platform to address gun violence. To her considerable credit, she did just that, in a digital short on this past weekend's "Saturday Night Live," which she hosted.
Now, arriving this Saturday: A full hour on bikini waxes, Hollywood beauty standards, eating disorders (hers) and the ridiculous terms applied to implausible sex acts.
It's all standard Schumer stuff, and nothing fans haven't sort of heard before, or maybe laughed at before, or cringed at before, or seen elements of before (her 2012 Comedy Central special). Those fans should be pleased. As usual, everyone else will be appalled.
What's discordant about "Live," however, is that it's essentially a time capsule from May dumped into viewers' laps in October.
Back then, Schumer was Schumer.
Now -- drum roll -- she's SCHUMER: Emmy winner, big-screen movie star, JLaw pal and avowed role model to other women who likewise are navigating the tragicomic horrors of mating rituals and body image and who have cast their lonely eyes to someone who can at least make the tragicomedy funny. She's also a comic using her platform to address the horrors of gun violence.
Reviewing her Comedy Central series last spring, Emily Nussbaum, TV critic for The New Yorker, put the perils of the emerging Amy Schumer Moment this way: "Now comes the hype, the lash and the backlash and the backlash to the backlash, the hero worship and the red-hot fury -- no pressure, Amy Schumer!"
Unfairly or not, there's plenty of pressure. "Apollo" reveals her gifts for sharp writing ("I'm dating an infectious diseases doctor. Two birds") and her particularly dexterous performance skills. But it's late in the Schumer Day and there are more Days to come. She's moved on from this. Hopefully.