Amy Schumer (born June 1, 1981) is an American stand-up comedian and actress. She ventured into comedy in the early 2000s before appearing as a contestant on the fifth season of the NBC reality competition series Last Comic Standing in 2007. Since 2013, she has been the creator, co-producer, co-writer, and star of the Comedy Central sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer, for which she received a Peabody Award and for which Schumer has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Variety Sketch Series in 2015.
Schumer wrote and made her film debut in a starring role in Trainwreck (2015), for which she received nominations for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. She published a memoir in 2016, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, which held the top position on The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller list for two weeks. The same year, she garnered two Grammy Award nominations for Best Comedy Album for Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo and Best Spoken Word Album for The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. In 2018, she starred in the comedy film I Feel Pretty and garnered a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play nomination for her Broadway debut in Meteor Shower.
After graduating with a degree in theater from Towson University in 2003 and moving to New York City, Schumer portrayed a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer in the Off-Off-Broadway black comedy Keeping Abreast. She started doing stand-up comedy on June 1, 2004, when she first performed at Gotham Comedy Club. In 2007, she recorded a Live at Gotham episode for Comedy Central before appearing on Last Comic Standing; she later recalled that she thought of the episode as her “big break.”
Rebounding from an unsuccessful audition for an earlier season, she advanced to the finals of the fifth season of the NBC reality television talent show Last Comic Standing and placed fourth. Schumer said in April 2011, “Last Comic was totally fun. I had a great time because there was no pressure on me; I had been doing stand-up around two years. I wasn’t supposed to do well. So every time I advanced it was a happy surprise. I kept it honest on the show and it served me well.”
Schumer co-starred in the Comedy Comedy Central reality show Reality Bites Back in 2008. In 2009, she appeared in an advertising campaign for Butterfinger. Schumer was a recurring guest on Fox News late-night program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld between 2007 and 2012. Her first Comedy Central Presents special aired on April 2, 2010. She served as a co-host of A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus in 2011, later titled Hoppus on Music. She has also written for Cosmopolitan.
Schumer did an episode (#154) of WTF with Marc Maron podcast on March 3, 2011, in which she discusses her early life in more detail. Schumer has appeared in roles on the NBC comedy series 30 Rock, the Adult Swim mockumentary series Delocated, and the two HBO series, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Girls.
She acted in three films in 2012: the independent comedy Price Check, the comedy-drama Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and the independent comedy Sleepwalk with Me. Schumer also appeared on The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen in September 2011, and The Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr in August 2012.
Schumer released a standup comedy album, Cutting, in 2011. Her standup comedy special Mostly Sex Stuff premiered on Comedy Central on August 18, 2012, to positive reviews. Schumer said in February 2012, “I don’t like the observational stuff. I like tackling the stuff nobody else talks about, like the darkest, most serious thing about yourself. I talk about life and sex and personal stories and stuff everybody can relate to, and some can’t.”
In June 2012, Schumer began work on a sketch comedy series for Comedy Central. The show included single-camera vignettes of Schumer playing “heightened versions” of herself. The vignettes are linked together with footage of Schumer’s stand-up. The show, Inside Amy Schumer, premiered on Comedy Central on April 30, 2013. Inside Amy Schumer was picked up for a second season that began in 2014. A behind-the-scenes miniseries entitled Behind Amy Schumer premiered in 2012. The third season premiered on April 21, 2015, with a fourth season ordered the same day.
In 2014, Schumer embarked on her Back Door Tour to promote the second season of her show. The show was closed by Bridget Everett, whom Schumer cites as her favorite live performer. She also appeared as a guest on an episode of comedian Jerry Seinfeld‘s Internet series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee in 2014.
In August 2015, Jennifer Lawrence said she and Schumer planned to co-star in a film for which they and Schumer’s sister Kim were co-writing a screenplay. Schumer performed as opening act for Madonna on three New York City dates of the singer’s Rebel Heart Tour in September 2015.
On October 17, 2015, Schumer’s comedy special Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo premiered on HBO. In 2016, it was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety Special, Writing, and Directing. It also garnered her a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.
Schumer started her first world tour on August 26 in Dublin. Also that year, Schumer wrote a memoir, entitled The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. It held the top position on The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller list for two weeks in September 2016 and garnered her a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.
Schumer made her Broadway debut in 2017 with Steve Martin’s comedy play Meteor Shower, about two couples in 1993 who spend an evening with each other. Her performance received acclaim and garnered her a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. In 2018, she starred in the comedy film I Feel Pretty.
Spotify released the original podcast Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith on June 21, 2018, starring Schumer and her best comedy friends Rachel Feinstein, Bridget Everett and Keith Robinson as they talk about comedy, pop culture, politics and their personal lives.
Schumer’s comedic influences include Wendy Liebman, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, and Joan Rivers. Additionally, she called actress-producer Goldie Hawn one of her “heroes”.
In the media
In 2015, Schumer was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. In 2015, Schumer was also named to Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People list for 2015. Schumer has received praise for addressing various social issues through comedy. In June 2015, Monica Heisey of The Guardian criticized her for “a shockingly large blind spot around race.” Schumer responded on Twitter, stating “I go in and out of playing an irreverent idiot. That includes making dumb jokes involving race… You can call it a ‘blind spot for racism’ or ‘lazy,’ but you are wrong. It is a joke … I am not racist.”
Throughout 2015, several of Schumer’s skits in Inside Amy Schumer went viral online, sparking think pieces regarding sex, feminism, and rape culture.
After a fatal shooting took place at a showing of Trainwreck in Louisiana, Schumer advocated for stricter gun control laws and increased mental health funding.
In November 2015, Schumer posed nude for a photo by photographer Annie Leibovitz for 2016 edition of the Pirelli Calendar. Schumer tweeted the photo, writing “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman. Thank you.”
In January 2016, Schumer was accused of stealing jokes from comedians Tammy Pescatelli, Kathleen Madigan, Wendy Liebman, and Patrice O’Neal. Schumer denied the allegations. Other comedians, such as Marc Maron and Dave Rubin, stood up for Schumer. Pescatelli later apologized, stating it had “gone too far” and was probably “parallel thinking”.
On October 4, 2018 Schumer was arrested at the US Capitol while protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.