Amy Schumer, New Joan Rivers?
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Amy Schumer, New Joan Rivers?

The Jewish comedy queen busting the patriarchy, one sketch at a time.

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

Amy Schumer is hot right now.

The 31-year-old comedy queen is the star of the sketch comedy series "Inside Amy Schumer," which airs on Comedy Central. The Upper East side native is best known for her risqué content, raw humor and unapologetic patriarchy-busting. She’s also half Jewish, and was raised as a member of the Tribe.

So what makes her stand out?

Her executive producer Dan Powell put it best: she can say the most filthy, obscene things in the sweetest manner. Last year she had a special on Comedy Central called "Mostly Sex Stuff," which was the second highest rated special on the network in five years.

A recent "Inside Amy Schumer" featured an episode-long take of the classic film 12 Angry Men, where a room of male jurors debate whether Schumer is attractive enough to be on TV, will likely be a defining moment of her career. Shot in black and white and set in a faithful re-creation of the film’s jurors’ room, the segment is a bold indictment of Hollywood’s unrealistic and relentless expectations for women.

Though the 12 Angry Men episode got a lot of press, Schumer also uses everyday life as fodder. Say, calling back Time Warner Cable to figure out why your internet is not working.

On another episode, Schumer sat down with Noel Biderman, CEO of Ashley Madison, the popular “dating” service designed for those pursuing some form of infidelity, and effortlessly made him look like an airhead. Schumer poked a hole in his pompous façade, revealing his business for what it is: a hookup site for cheaters. Though Biderman tried to maintain an air of professionalism, he failed dismally. Schumer one, Biderman zero.

And then there was that time when she perfectly parodied the insanity of child pageantry. The sketch, titled “Babies & Bustiers,” pokes fun at the sitcom “Toddlers & Tiaras” which chronicles the lives of child pageant queens.

Joining the ranks of Tina Fey and Julia-Louis Dreyfus (who both joined her on a recent episode of her show), this feminist live-wire will keeping making headlines. She’ll make Joan Rivers proud.

editor@jewishweek.org

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