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Inside Amy Schumer Review: "Three Buttholes"

Comedy Reviews Inside Amy Schumer
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<i>Inside Amy Schumer</i> Review: "Three Buttholes"

Two months ago, Amy Schumer was the star of a fairly popular sketch comedy series on Comedy Central. Now, at the end of season three of Inside Amy Schumer, she is the reigning queen of comedy. We can be cynical and attribute some of her rise to power to excellent marketing from Comedy Central and the PR team for Trainwreck but, looking back on season three, it’s clear that Schumer’s title is both deserved and hard-won.

From the “Milk, Milk, Lemonade” video to the 12 Angry Men spoof, from the clever commentary of the Friday Night Lights sketch to the absurdist fun of seeing Tim Gunn as princess Amy’s royal attaché, this hasn’t just been a great ten-episode run of sketch comedy. It’s been one of the most consistently funny seasons of television since the end of the Parks and Rec / 30 Rock / Community era.

“3 Buttholes” isn’t the best episode of season three although it may contain two of its best sketches. The cold open is an incredible dramatization of cunnilingus of the sort that only Amy Schumer could pull off. Without giving too much away, the sketch involves Chinese food and a Russian novel and it makes perfect use of Dave Bowman’s final words in 2001: A Space Odyssey: “My God, it’s full of stars!”

And then Jon Glaser (star of the deeply missed Delocated) shows up in the next sketch as a giant cock-blocking chicken named Cock Block and things get even better. Glaser is a veteran comedy writer and performer most popularly known as Councilman Jamm in Parks and Rec but after this, Cock Block should probably be seen as the defining role of his career.

As Cock Block, Glaser walks around the bar, cock blocking hapless men with all the manic energy he can muster until a serious conversation with Amy triggers some sobering self-reflection.

“Every morning I dread the sound of myself waking myself up every morning,” Cock Block moans, proving that Schumer and crew are not above a solid rooster joke when they get the chance.

Glaser’s subsequent delivery of the line, “They say the hardest cock to block is your own heart,” may be this season’s most poignant line.

But cunnilingus and Cock Block prove to be tough acts for the rest of the finale to follow. A sketch about Amy falling for someone simply because she finds his British accent sophisticated works on paper but, in practice, it travels well-trod territory. Arrested Development devoted an entire sub-plot to that joke years ago. Still, it’s worth it to hear Schumer refer to her British beau’s foreskin as so “enorm” that it is “like a five skin.”

Another guest appearance by Glaser as a smile specialist hired to help Amy with her red carpet facial expressions brings the energy back up, but only briefly. At the end of the sketch, we learn that Amy has become slightly more competitive with a dog in an online “Who Wore It Best?” poll

Natasha Lyonne (Orange is The New Black) makes a welcome but too brief appearance in the titular sketch about Amy revealing she has three buttholes to her friends. It’s a gross image and Schumer has some fun with it—suggesting, for instance, that her boyfriend should “play her like a flute, a little Jethro Tull”—but it doesn’t feel like quite enough to hang a segment on after two more flimsy sketches in a row.

It’s in the last five minutes that Schumer makes the season finale special. In lieu of an “Amy Goes Deep” interview, she cedes the floor to her friend and fellow stand-up comic Bridgett Everett who sings a bawdy song called “Put Your Dick Away.” And instead of bloopers, the episode ends with a heartfelt speech from Schumer to her team on the last day of filming.

“This has been my favorite season,” she says, before thanking everyone and running off camera when she starts to cry.

Schumer may be the queen of comedy, she may be unapologetic in all the best ways, but she’s also gracious and good. The media might swoon when Schumer publicly boasts that she can “catch a dick” but airing a tearful thank you to her co-workers in a season finale also reveals something essential about her brand. It’s this compelling mix of boldness and earnestness that has made season three so special and that has properly launched Schumer’s career this summer.

This was her favorite season. It’s been my favorite season, too.

May Saunders is a professional dog walker living in Minneapolis and an occasional freelance writer. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her cat, who does not need to be walked.

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