JFL42 Amy Schumer Sony Centre, Toronto ON, September 19
Published Sep 20, 2014"If anyone is reviewing this show, I'd like you to put this in: A guy came in me recently…" It wasn't even a callback to an earlier set of jokes about JFL42 headliner Amy Schumer recently experiencing her first UTI in her early 30s. But this particular, possibly unnecessary info about what's been happening under the hood of Schumer's personal life did lead to a hilarious impression of Michelle Obama duck-walking to the bathroom, and is also a good indicator of what one gets with the no-longer-ascendant-but-arrived Schumer.
She lamented, at one point, her image as a "sex comic," a label that is both glibly dismissive and inaccurate for how insightfully hilarious and often transgressive her sex comedy is and tonight's show highlighted first her evolution beyond that label, and then her utter dominance of it.
Her material remains self-centred, but her career and her place in Hollywood have replaced the bar-dwelling himbo as both a source of her insecurity and a target of her feminist scorn. Age, weight, body image and fame — balanced by a comically inflated ego about her preternatural talent — are crashed against the shores of meeting Kate Upton courtside at a Lakers game and having her male companion characterize the bikini model as "really funny!" (Schumer seethes with rage more amusingly than almost anyone.)
Her relatively rapid rise to headliner status at Toronto's pre-eminent comedy festival was highlighted by opener Gerry Dee, a Canadian comic and star of domestic sitcom Mr. D. Thing is, Dee is best known internationally for placing third on the fifth season of Last Comic Standing — exactly one spot higher than Schumer, for whom he's now opening at her sold-out headlining show in a 3000 seat theatre. Is he bitter? Certainly. Was he funny about it? Mostly.
But Schumer demonstrated what seven more years in stand-up have taught her: make sure the bottle she swigs from throughout is white wine, to avoid vampire teeth; and that if she wants to end the show by polling the assembled for their favourite obscure new sexual terms (Crimson Pollock), that may not be for everyone, but for Schumer fans, it's all we want.