“How is it that Prince is dead and Dad is still alive? (The crowd will grow to thousands, requiring us to have a police escort back to the hotel.) We all hang out in Schumer’s dressing room: her brother and sister; Mike Berkowitz, one of her agents; and Isaac Witty, a comedian she has known for a dozen years, who is opening for her tonight.
“I was just so excited that she knew who I was and liked me,” says Amy. “Making Kim laugh is the best thing in the world,” says Schumer. One of the reasons her TV show feels so fresh is that she hired writers with little experience in television. We’re not making a milk shake.”)It is as unself-consciously real an approach as one might expect from someone who has arrived at such a vertiginous place in our culture, a celebrity whose every move is being documented and judged.
Jen saw the post, emailed Amy, and said, “Maybe we could work together.” “That was all I needed: I just wrote six scenes and sent them.”) Amy glances over at Kim, who is slumped down in her seat, looking like she’d rather be in bed. Amy and Kim’s older brother, Jason Stein, his wife, Cayce Du Mont, and their two-year-old daughter, Ida, are meeting us at our first stop, in Minneapolis. But to be able to take your brother and sister with you? There’s no class distinction between the three of us. “I think that partly explains our success,” she says, “because they aren’t seasoned old vets who have seen every joke in the world. It’s probably why her comedy has connected with so many on such a deep level: Being blunt does not necessarily equate with being mean.
“I felt like I was in an internment camp,” she says, and then shows me a picture of herself in a glittering floor-length dress. ” She looks like a woman who has just been seated on a jury for a murder trial. In her act, she jokes about how if you’re a woman in Hollywood who weighs more than 140 pounds, it, “like, hurts people’s eyes.” Women’s being judged on how they present themselves is one of those issues that have endeared her to Hillary Clinton. (“She does all this fucking work,” she says, “and she’s just trying to do good, and people are like, screening, she publicly stood by her cousin Senator Chuck Schumer in his quest for stricter gun legislation.
And now she does a long, risky bit onstage about gun control that manages to be both raucously funny and deadly serious.
The sisters laugh at each other’s jokes, bust each other’s chops, and finish each other’s sentences. ” Kim laughs and hands it over.“I just realized I’m not wearing a bra under my shirt, and it’s pulling, and I don’t want to put on a show.” She looks at me and leans closer.
They also write together: on Schumer’s TV show (in whose skits Kim sometimes appears) and on screenplays, including the one written with Jennifer Lawrence that they hope to start shooting in the next year. (For the record, the most enviable girlmance in recent memory began when Amy posted a video of Jen talking about her on the red carpet. “I can tell you’re very attracted to me, and I don’t want that to affect this interview.” Kim is giggling under the hat she has now pulled down over her head.The feedback that reaches me is so equal in appreciation and outrage that it doesn’t feel overwhelming in either direction.” Does it ever get to you? Some days there will be a bunch of Web sites dedicated to trying to get me to just my mouth, or I’ll walk into a greenroom and someone had a caricature artist draw me and it’s with a martini glass, looking like a linebacker with Jay Leno’s chin. I’m not without that vulnerability.”We land in Minneapolis around p.m., just as the news is breaking that Prince has died, and suddenly everyone is staring into their phones, murmuring in a state of stunned disbelief as we pile into several waiting SUVs. “This is the best picture I’ve ever seen,” says Kim.I get into a car with Kim and Amy that is being driven by an amiable man named Izzy, who looks like he could be part of Prince’s entourage: conked hair, a gold ring on every finger, huge black sunglasses. They are looking at a photograph of their 66-year-old father, Gordon, who was diagnosed with MS when he was 39 and has been in an assisted-care facility for seven years.“I’m not going to do, like, the too-soon Prince joke,” she says.Schumer is pacing around, grazing on sliced turkey and crackers, while she and Witty reminisce. I’m just imagining you guys listening to it.” And then in a bored deadpan: “Like politicians, comedians are notoriously unstylish, mostly because caring about fashion is a give-away for taking oneself too seriously, which is totally not funny.And that’s just the work I was around to witness.“I wouldn’t know what motivates Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus,” says Schumer when I bring this up. “Living in New York, I don’t have to deal with that whole industry part of it. I don’t pretend to be nice.” She stares at me for a second, and you can see a punch line coming. “I think people are gravitating toward a more honest, more normal human.” has become something of a dirty word for modern-day feminists, as if a woman’s daily routine should include being eternally vigilant about whether she presents as pleasant and appealing.