The ultimate queen of comedy, Amy Schumer has never been afraid to say what she thinks. Since her early days in stand-up to her success with her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, the star has brought forth a smart, no-holds-barred (and often raunchy) type of comedy that was not as common for female comics in the past.
Schumer has pushed the envelope, giving her audience a new normal. She shares every tiny, good and gory moment of her life, making her fans realize, I’m not the only one who thought that.
But what was this comedy royalty like growing up? In school? Let’s take a closer look at Schumer’s story and her stunning transformation throughout the years.
She loved comedy from a young age
Comedy has been a part of Schumer’s life since she was a kid. She shared with Vogue, “I grew up comedy crazy…. And none of my girlfriends were, so I gravitated toward certain boys. We all loved the Jerky Boys and making prank phone calls and SNL. It was the same thing with hip-hop. I loved rap because of the economy of language and those fast insults, playing off each other.”
Yet, Schumer didn’t have the same confidence in her comedy chops that she now portrays. She spoke with GQ about the sense that being funny was just for boys at the time, saying, “Yeah, I really got a sense: ‘Just be quiet.’ It was like there was this barrier before people laughed. It definitely felt like, ‘You’re a girl.”
Her father’s illness was both a struggle and a shtick
Schumer was forced to grow up fast when her family hit some hard times. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, her father developed multiple sclerosis when she was 12 years old. Soon after this, her parents divorced. Within these tough times, Schumer found a way to make her family feel better. She shared with the publication, “I was like, ‘I’ll take it from here.’ I tried to make everything okay by making everyone laugh about how horrible things were. It kept us alive.”
Even in the hardest moments, Schumer found the humor when it was needed. As described by People, Schumer recalled one time when her father lost control of his bowels at the airport when she was 17. She told her brother what happened and “it became a bit.” She tried to include the story in her stand-up routine. She spoke about this moment with People, sharing, “People were like, ‘Nooooo, too dark,’…. In my family no one has ever laughed that hard at anything.”
She lost self-confidence when she arrived at college
Schumer’s life and perspective changed when she went to college in 1999. Attending Townson University, she was surrounded by thousands of other students. She described her first thoughts freshman year with Vogue, sharing, “I lost all my self-esteem freshman year…. I think I was maybe in the twenty-fifth percentile in hotness.”
She continued on to share that in college she was “always interested” in sex. She had a clear plan for herself that didn’t quite work out the way she hoped. She said, “And then in my sophomore year, I probably had sex with six guys, and I was like, Maybe I’m like Samantha in Sex and the City and I’ll just keep this train movin’ so that I don’t get attached to anybody…. And you won’t believe this, but that did not work out. But I always thought that sex was funny.”
She took on a new persona when she started stand-up
Schumer had her first big stand-up moment in 2003, and described it to Vogue, saying, “It was at the old Gotham on Twenty-second Street. It was a bringer. I brought four people, including my mom. I just thought, like every other a**hole, I could kind of, like, maybe do this. I had a couple hours to come up with a set. I did seven minutes.”
She was 22 years old at the time, and she needed to determine who she would be on stage. She described this element of comedy during the interview, saying, “It’s a really disgusting part of comedy: You need to do so much work and be so funny, aaaand you also need to understand who you are to people. I didn’t really remember seeing that many women talk about sex in stand-up…. But I was like, I’ll be that.”
She appeals to both genders equally
As time went on, Schumer continued to find her voice, and that voice ended up bringing a whole new element to the comedy world. Inside Amy Schumer, the Comedy Central show, began in 2013 when the star was 31 years old.
As reported by The New York Times, Comedy Central is a network that has a larger male audience. When Schumer’s show began to air on the network, she showed the world that her humor is for everyone. Brooke Posch, the executive in charge of production for Comedy Central at the time, told The New York Times in 2013, “Amy celebrates being a girl and being girly. Amy gets 50-50 male-female demos. Her relatability is amazing.”
She has made sacrifices for her career
Being a successful comedian with her own show, Schumer had to give up possible life paths in order to have the career she did. While the world more often sees the joking and laughing side of Schumer, she has her moments of quiet and reflection.
In 2013, the star spoke with The New York Times and was very candid about the life she has and the one she doesn’t (but sometimes wishes she did). Speaking about her work and its importance in her life, Schumer shared, “I want it to be great. At the end of week, when everyone hangs out with their husband or loved ones, I get on a plane and do morning radio.”
She has, in the past, thought about a different version of her life. During the interview she shared, “Sometimes, I just want to move to a small town and have a family.”
Pressures from Hollywood made her lose weight
As Schumer reached further success, she continued to gain new opportunities. These opportunities eventually led the 30-something star to Hollywood.
In 2015, Schumer reached new levels of stardom when her first big movie, Trainwreck was released — which she both wrote and starred in. And, while this was a huge accomplishment, Schumer did not love the pressures that came along with the big movie.
The 34-year-old later reflected on this time during her Netflix special, Amy Schumer: The Leather Special (via People). She said, “I’m what Hollywood calls, very fat…. Before I did anything, somebody like explained to me, ‘Just so you know, Amy, no pressure, but if you weigh over 140 lbs., it will hurt people’s eyes,’…. And I was like, Okay. I just bought it. I was like, ‘Okay, I’m new to town. So I lost weight.”
She continued on to say she looked “stupid skinny,” and didn’t keep that weight off. She recognized the pressure of Hollywood and didn’t want to succumb to it again. She continued, “I got worried because it gets in your head — just everything on television and movies and magazines and the internet…. All the women are just beautiful little skeletons…. I’m like, ‘Oh, my god! Are men still going to be attracted to me?’ And that’s when I remembered… they don’t care.”
She showed vulnerability in her first film
While Schumer wasn’t a big fan of certain Hollywood expectations, that didn’t take away from the exciting achievement of her first film. Particularly because she didn’t hold anything back and made it personal.
She opened up and shared a lot about herself in the movie. The star told The Guardian that the story in the film was “48% autobiographical.” Her character’s story shared elements of her own life story. She continued on to say, “It’s a very personal story… I wrote it two years ago and it’s kind of about myself, a version of myself, like maybe from a younger age.”
Her father’s illness has been a reminder for her to be grateful
And even though it’s easy to get caught up in Hollywood’s focus on imperfections, Schumer knows how to keep things in perspective. Interviewed by People earlier this year, the 35-year-old spoke on this topic, sharing, “I feel very good in my own skin…. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I do. I feel sexy.”
And what about those times when she doesn’t feel so good about herself? She gets over it. Schumer continued, saying, “My dad, like, has MS and is in a wheelchair and it’s, like, I’m just psyched I can f**king move…. How are you going to complain [about your imperfections?] Shut the f**k up. You’re alive. You can move. You feel good!”
She’s pretty sure she’ll never get cosmetic work done
As Schumer looks down the line, she’s pretty sure she’ll never get cosmetic work done…but no promises.
From a career standpoint, she’s not concerned. She told InStyle during an interview, “I’m good-looking enough that I can work in the business. I get enough attention from men that I feel good. I see pictures of myself now, and I look younger than I think of myself. It hasn’t scared me yet.”
And, classic Schumer, she takes her statements a bit further. She continued on to say, “I’m pretty sure I’ll never get any sort of surgery, but no proclamations. Also, I cannot imagine a moment when I will need filler for my face, as if it needs to be filled. Can we unfill this? Let’s get an emptier. Yeah, I need lipo on my cheeks.”