Comedian Amy Schumer, who has spoken about her father’s multiple sclerosis and modeled her stricken on-screen dad in “Trainwreck” after her father, spoke with Barbara Walters about his current state.
“He’s not good,” the Rockville Centre-raised Schumer, 34, says in a preview clip for the ABC special “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015,” airing Thursday. “Some days he’s really good,” she said, “and he’s with it and we’re joking around. And some days I go to visit my dad and it’s so painful. I can’t believe it.”
Gordon Schumer, who sold upscale baby furniture in Manhattan before going bankrupt and moving the family to Rockville Centre, learned of his MS shortly after he and Sandy Schumer divorced when Amy was 12 and sister Kim was 8.
“For years, we didn’t really understand what it was,” Amy Schumer told the Los Angeles Times in July. “We knew it was kind of sad. But then when we got older, it was devastating.”
She tells Walters, “In terms of my dad being sick, it was just confusing to me, especially the way MS works. He was in physical pain. That’s when I kind of took the lead and took care of everybody in my family. I would keep them — I would keep everybody laughing,” she says. “I’m the one who ties it all together.”
MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that is treatable but incurable. Its many symptoms can include loss of balance, muscle spasms and tremors, vision loss, numbness and excessive fatigue. Approximately 400,000 Americans suffer from the disease, the precise cause of which is unknown.
Schumer told Alec Baldwin on his podcast, “Here’s The Thing,” last month that her father is in a hospital on Long Island.
In March, when “Trainwreck” premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Schumer told Entertainment Weekly, “There is no denying that there is a lot of me in this movie. I, as they say, went there. It’s really personal. It’s about stuff I was struggling with and am constantly battling.”