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Last week Amy Schumer took on the theme of fame and this week, Inside Amy Schumer went dark.
The episode, titled “Psychopath Test,” tackled less personal topics than Schumer’s celebrity — the famous comedian was eaten by rabid fans last week — but made equally dire points when making fun of self-esteem songs, women who are too obsessed with their pregnancy, TV comedies and a common theme of commercials.
Schumer, who co-directed last season’s short film and viral sensation “12 Angry Men,” lent her hand at co-directing two sketches this season: “Fantasy Normal Dudes,” which aired in the third episode, and Thursday night’s “Sitcom.” Schumer both directs and acts in the sitcom parody, which she also co-wrote.
The extended sketch stars Ralphie May as “the overweight husband” and Irina Shayk as “the hot wife” while Schumer plays the neighbor in a show called Perfect Matches. Making fun of the sitcom tropes commonly seen on broadcast TV, the male actors score big live-studio laughs with their familiar gags while the females remain secondary and replaceable. When Schumer veers off script, she’s escorted out and a look-alike gets wheeled into the scene, barely missing a beat.
“I think it’s really dark and really special,” Inside Amy Schumer co-creator and executive producer Dan Powell told The Hollywood Reporter about the sitcom sketch. “The episode might be my personal favorite of the season — it’s definitely the darkest episode we’ve ever done.”
While Powell says they don’t stick to specific themes for each episode, they do look for common threads to link the episode together.
In the sketch called “Mobile C,” Schumer plays the “adorkable” company representative commonly seen in cell phone and insurance commercials. While filming an ad with a male actor, the abusive director has harsh criticism for Schumer’s costar while the smiling Schumer is only there to spout terms like “hotspot” that she doesn’t even understand.
“It makes fun of the trope of commercials now, where they have a woman who basically is the company,” Powell explains. “It’s usually a very nice, pretty young woman who has brunette hair and parted bangs, and she’s kind of fun and flirty and she represents the company. It was a trope pointed out by one of our writers, Neil Casey, and he wrote a really dark sketch around that.” (Casey plays the director in the sketch.)
The episode ends with Schumer interviewing Jon Ronson about his book, The Psychopath Test, and how to spot a psychopath. (Schumer takes the test, but doesn’t reveal the answer.)
Inside Amy Schumer airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.
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