Amy Schumer is known for her racy and usually offensive material in both her stand-up sets and on her Comedy Central series. Tuesday's Season 3 premiere of "Inside Amy Schumer" was the furthest thing from tame, featuring an array of sketches about the glorification of the booty, birth control rights, and yes, even rape.
"Football Town Nights," an over-the-top parody of "Friday Night Lights" with Josh Charles (he's back!) as the Coach and Schumer as his wine-drunk Mrs. Coach, was undoubtedly the most shocking sketch of the episode. In it, Charles' Coach tells his team they can no longer rape. The athletes erupt in a fit of rage, unable to imagine football without rape. "What if it's Halloween?" one player asks. "What if she thinks it's rape, but I don't?" asks another.
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It's easily a sketch that could offend many viewers, especially since it goes on and on for over five minutes. But Schumer wants audiences to know that she and her "Inside" writers are turning something atrocious into humor as a means of sending a message. During a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, one audience member found Schumer's sketch empowering and asked the comic how she approached such sensitive topics in comedy.
"You can maybe look at that scene and think we’re making light of something serious, but we really are trying to educate, but that’s not always clear," Schumer said at the panel. The actress added that the end of the sketch initially included statistics about campus rape convictions, but the writers cut it so it wasn't "too heavy-handed."
"Our hope is that people will laugh at that," Schumer said of the sketch. "They’ll think it’s funny and that maybe they’ll think, ‘Oh no, I can’t -- I shouldn’t film it.’ Maybe something will get in there and actually help the culture. [...] First of all, rape is good fodder for comedy because it’s the worst thing in the whole world. So it’s this untouchable."
The actress also recalled the show's video game sketch about rape in the military from Season 2, saying that the writers checked in with each other about whether or not they were crossing the line. But Schumer and her team do know when they've gone too far with an idea, as evinced by their choice to not do two sketches this season: one about baby coffins and another set in a "Dirty Dancing" abortion clinic (though they said the latter might happen one day.)
"We’re doing our best to have people not check out or be offended," Schumer added, "but still get the message and laugh."