The power of Tuesday's very special edition of Inside Amy Schumer doesn't really start settling in until the dildo-based argument (see clip above), treading the waters of lunacy with nary a hint of ungrounded absurdity. Parody is a vehicle, and with 12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer — Amy Schumer drives that vehicle straight into the heart of exactly what makes her position in the current pop culture climate so important.
Padded with brilliant guest stars including John Hawkes, Paul Giamatti, Jeff Goldblum, Dennis Quaid, and Vincent Kartheiser (once again looking almost unrecognizable without his altered Pete Campbell hairline from Mad Men), "12 Angry Men" soars with or without the cultural context of the original 1957 Sidney Lumet film (itself an adaptation of the 1954 play). In a brief but welcomed act of fourth wall nonchalance, Amy spends the closing moments of the episode asking people on the streets if they're at all familiar with the original. The answers are as subtle in their variance as you might expect.
Just as the "Football Town Nights" skit from earlier this season avoided empty parody in favor of insightful subversion, "12 Angry Men" — though dazzling in its attention to detail and respect of its source material — has much more going on than mere comedic mimicry. The "angry men," as it were, are tasked as jurors in a case that will decide (quite bluntly) — "Is Amy Schumer hot enough for television?"
One by one, our grotesque male dinosaurs are encountered with a scenario wherein they too might consider Schumer "hot enough for television." This dialogue, delivered with the same conviction we've seen from Giamatti, Goldblum, and Kartheiser in far more dramatic fare, builds effortlessly — written and presented in such a way that Amy's onscreen absence is felt in the words, pacing, and general tone of the episode.
In an interview with Hitfix, Schumer spoke at length about her intentions for "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer."
The debates that I've overheard with both men and women is that there is a rage for a woman taking her clothes off on TV. There is this strange anger towards women who are comfortable with themselves, who some people feel like they shouldn't be. The message that's sent to us through the media and Hollywood and magazines is, "If you're not one of the most beautiful women in the world, you should hide yourself." That's a message that's being driven through so many different avenues that both men and women start to listen and think, "She has no right to do this."
Few comedians can transcend their respective format and give us something truly remarkable, and Amy Schumer is most certainly a member of that highly exclusive club. "12 Angry Men" proves that — and so much more.