So far this season, Inside Amy Schumer has pulled off a remarkable feat: A consistently funny sketch comedy show that also feels cohesive, like each episode is carefully arranged in a kind of vulgar tone poem. This week’s episode, “I’m Sorry,” is more haphazard and rough than its predecessors, to the point where it comes off at times like a lost episode from the first season, when Schumer was still feeling out the show’s tone. Yet this shaggy, strange episode is still very funny.
The sketch that gives this episode its name shares DNA with two of the strongest sketches from each past season, “Compliments” and “I’m So Bad.” In “I’m Sorry,” Schumer plays a scientist who has been invited to speak on an all-women panel on innovation. The panel goes haywire quickly because the speakers cannot stop saying that they are sorry whenever they need anything. It’s uncomfortable to watch, especially for profligate apologizers. All three sketches comment on how women have trouble taking ownership of their desires and accomplishments, and all three feature a grotesque twist that drags this bad behavior to a bloody conclusion.
In “Recapper,” Schumer mocks another recognizable and horrifying thing: The sex partner who won’t stop talking about what just happened in bed. Kevin Kane, who also appeared in last week’s “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,” says his lines with such romantic conviction that it’d be easy to feel sorry for him if “I am so drunk on you right now!” wasn’t so brutally corny.
Both sketches featuring Bill Hader exude a borderline Saturday Night Live 10-to-1 sketch vibe, but not in a bad way. “Pizza World Nights” has Hader playing a former porn actor who just can’t stop making sexual advances on the set of a pizza commercial. Instead of firing him, the commercial crew ends up indulging him. It’s the kind of comedy that’s hard to pick apart because describing it makes it sound like a dream someone really high is trying to describe to someone else more than a real, professionally produced sketch. But the beauty is in the little bizarro details, like the grip who is dressed exactly like Philip Seymour-Hoffman in Boogie Nights, and the way Hader mournfully declares “I’m just a broken-down woodsman who thought he could act.”
“Cliffley Lately” is mainly just an excuse for Schumer to do a surprisingly accurate Blake Lively laugh, but Hader brings a precision-leering Carson/Letterman/Conan mashup to the table, and the repartee between the two is so similar to how these rote interviews go on television that the zigzags into hyperbole (at one point Cliffley pulls out a noose and says he’s giving it to his wife as a necklace) land hard. It would’ve been smart if Inside Amy piped in an instrumental of “Milk Milk Lemonade” during the (literal) climax of the talk show, because the song’s loving but accusatory chorus is the unspoken jab of this sketch: “This is what you think is hot.”
After last week’s cinematic, experimental episode, it would’ve been hard for Inside Amy to top itself. And it didn’t. But it’s hard to get mad when Schumer’s average is so good.
- The “Dick-Hole Beer” opener wasn’t anything special, but it served as a perfect set-up for the man-on-the-street Schumer does right after, where she asks a man whether he’d have sex with a beer and he immediately replies “Blue Moon?”
- The “Amy Goes Deep” portion features a male gigolo who tells his gigolo origin story of learning to pick up women at The Container Store, which is so weird that it must be true.
- A musical Blade Runner remake directed by Baz Lurhmann sounds both terrifying and intriguing.
- The way Amy Lake Blively’s legs became more and more blazingly golden over the course of “Cliffley Lately” was a terrific detail.