After the untimely demise of Chappelle's Show, sketch comedy looked like it would never again rise to the heights achieved by Dave Chappelle and company. Though funny groups like Whitest Kids U'Know popped up periodically and delivered some strong sketches, most post-Chapelle sketch shows lacked the point of view necessary to sustain a great show in the long run. The last few years have brought us an embarrassment of sketch comedy riches. Key and Peele, Portlandia, and Inside Amy Schumer are all great shows that hit far more than they miss. On the surface, these series appear to be built for niche audiences. Key and Peele's conversation is about race, Inside Amy Schumer talks about gender, and Portlandia deals with aging out of the pop culture that once defined you. In reality, these shows use their particularly point of view to craft sketches that have universal resonance.
To say that Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer is about women's issues is reductive. The show deals with issues from a woman's point of view (Amy Schumer, is, after all, you know, a woman), but dating, sex, and the never-ending struggle to maintain your dignity amid life's endless indignities aren't issues that appeal only to females. What is special about Schumer's show is that she doesn't shy away from the fact that her sketches are going to be critiqued by some imaginary feminist measuring stick. Rather than avoid the inevitable description of "female comic," she embraces, interrogates, and subverts our ideas of feminism, while making a lot of great vomit and fart jokes along the way. If you haven't yet checked out what Schumer is up to, here's a place to start. Just in time for tomorrow night's new episode, here are the 10 best Inside Amy Schumer sketches so far.
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