In this week’s edition of How Funny Was It?, I will be doing my first review of a female comedian, Amy Schumer, and her Netflix Original special: Growing.
I decided to review a female comic this week because I haven’t yet, and I was very pleasantly surprised. I say pleasantly surprised not because Amy Schumer is a woman, but because I have seen her past work and never found it funny — like ever. I did not just find it not funny, but it was hard to watch because of her uncomfortable humor and annoying style. This time, it felt like Schumer had taken a step forward, just like the title, her comedic style was growing. What had made her so obnoxious and hard to watch in the past was the intimacy she felt with the crowd. She overshared a lot, like a lot a lot. This tendency to take things too far is what ruined her older work. While there was still some of that in the new special, she definitely toned it down.
Schumer clearly had a new purpose in life, having just given birth to her baby in February of 2019. This being a significant change in her life, it makes sense that her humor and art would reflect that.
She showed that she had matured with her humor and stage presence. The new subject matter of her stand-up showed her to have become more of a functioning member of society, unlike her past self. Her newfound maturity made her jokes more appealing to the audience and the general public, reaching more people than her crude jokes from the past. This is not to say that there were not any of those classic Schumer jokes, if you’re a fan. In the new show, there were still some of those jokes, however, they were not overwhelming and were mixed in quite well. Schumer has really come a very long way since her first routine, which was very hard to watch. She is almost an entirely new comedian, which is a positive to me, but a negative to many of her die-hard fans, if she has any. Her new style appeals to a much broader audience and reaches more people because it is now more conservative, and is not as close to crude as it used to be.
Now for the negatives … Schumer has gone from too comfortable to slightly awkward. I do not blame her for this change, as overall, it helped her grow, but nonetheless she is kinda awkward now. Schumer also still weaves in crude jokes, and it is just gross. Like why do you have to do that, it makes no sense, the only laughs are nervous ones, and then those are the jokes that are remembered. This played a big role in my initial reaction to the special, which was actually pretty disappointed, but when I thought back to the meat of the show, not just the extremely cringe-worthy jokes, which were not that often, just stood out a lot because of how bad they were, I wasn’t as disappointed as I originally thought.
My final thoughts are this: Amy Schumer showed tremendous improvement in Growing. She showed the potential to be a real comedian, not just a gag actor, and for that reason, I give this special a three out of five stars.