Comedy Central

To “throw like a girl” or “run like a girl” is one of those mildewy playground insults that probably won’t die soon, no matter how many faux-empowering commercials try to take back the “like a girl” brand of schoolyard smack-talk. This episode of Inside Amy Schumer isn’t interested in reclaiming hoary disses as much as it’s focused on embracing frailty and pettiness as rich sources of humor. To “Fight Like A Girl” doesn’t mean someone is bad at fighting, it means that girls are wonderful at passive-aggressive argument.

The opening sketch has Amy stripping at a bachelor party for a group of dogs. Besides being an extremely literal send-up of the cliche of men=dogs, it’s a clever comment on how people can feel more for their pets than other people; the underlying message is that overly pampered dogs get more humane, and human, treatment than strippers. “You’re losing the room!” Amy’s body guy yells as she strips reluctantly in front of the disinterested pups. The doggie bachelor party host isn’t the only person with bad priorities: Amy’s subjecting herself to the humiliation of dry-humping dogs because she wants to buy a color printer.

That’s not the only nipple-tweak to rampant consumerism and what happens when people fawn over others who don’t actually give a shit: “Say Fine to The Shirt” is a spoof of TLC’s long-running paean to the materialistic fantasy of luxury wedding culture, Say Yes To The Dress, except it’s all about accommodating a thoroughly disinterested dude looking for a new “main shirt” instead of a bride-to-be on diva behavior. The sketch goes on a little too long, but has moments of brilliance, like when Justin Long’s Brian unintelligibly growls his name at the sale clerk. When he abruptly shifts from sustained indifference to completely irrational glee at the end it hits an unexpected note of absurdity. Long’s expressions as he gazes upon the glory of his new duds is a sight to behold.

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Schumer takes on what happens when people relinquish all expectations in another sketch that lets a guest star shine. Kurt Metzger is great as Vlad, the male order husband Amy buys on Ambien. Amy is furious when Vlad shows up and isn’t her Seamless delivery, but when Vlad ends up feeding her the lobster when Seamless when it does arrive, she decides he can stick around despite his inability to speak coherent English and his Frankenstein’s Creature-on-meth gait. She calls her married friend to ask why she let her order Vlad. “You said you wanted to get your dick wet but you’re too famous for Tinder now,” the friend replies, which is the perfect reply.

Amy’s also wearing the apotheosis of sad single lady clothing: A cotton nightgown that says “Know When To Hold ‘Em Know When To Fold ‘Em” with a cuddled-up cat illustration beneath it. The ending is weird and really threads the needle between working and being breathtakingly, wrote-my-first-writing-class-at-Second-City-on-the-L lazy, but it made me laugh, plus it fits thematically since the writers really play up the whole “settling out of laziness” angle.

“The Museum of Boyfriend Wardrobe Atrocities” treats the horrible clothing choices of men like the Holocaust, complete with a curated pile of Crocs piled up as an art piece to reference part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s permanent exhibition. There’s even an atrocity denier—a man who insists that there couldn’t possibly have been that many hemp necklaces and white tube socks.

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The joke is how aghast the women are as they walk through the exhibit, and the attention to detail to make the set look like a real museum is great. They’re only visible by pressing pause, but the museum placard write-ups of the wardrobe atrocities capture the overwrought descriptions that sometimes accompany museum pieces.

“Much like the human casts perfectly preserved by Mount Vesuvius’ erupting clouds—here we see a mint-condition outfit, perfectly preserved by Josh’s ex-girlfriend. And much like the despair and apocalyptic destruction felt throughout the streets of Pompeii, this twee pseudo-tuxedo shirt with the crushed velvet blazer produced unspeakable horrors for all whose eyes caught glimpse.”

Obviously, comedy wouldn’t exist if people were perfect. Hell, people wouldn’t be people, we’d be freaky homo superiors dancing around a Utopian maypole in harmonious bliss. Inside Amy isn’t unusual in the way it plies apart human weakness, but it’s special in the glee and care it takes in tipping those petty streaks, lazy habits, and blinkered thinking into absurd territory.

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Stray observations:

  • The “Amy Goes Deep” segment about Metzger’s open relationship with his partner Karen is another candid, wonderful reminder that Schumer is a viable late night host candidate.
  • “You could dangle a rag off her and she’d still be beautiful,” is the smartest answer anyone’s ever given Schumer in her on-the-street interviews.
  • “Yo, hear that TJ died?”
  • I love that the bachelor dog’s name is Josh, which seems like such a person-name.

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