Amy Schumer: Queen of Comedy
October 16, 2015
By any reasonable standard, 2015 was comedian Amy Schumer’s year. She hosted MTV’s Video Music Awards, graced the covers of magazines from GQ to Glamour to Entertainment Weekly, and was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People. Her cheerfully profane, sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer won a Peabody Award and was renewed for a fourth season on Comedy Central. And her subversive romantic comedy Trainwreck, which she wrote and starred in, was released in July to stellar reviews and an eventual gross of $100 million-plus.
The cultural significance of Schumer’s remarkable career trajectory was the subject of a Cinema and Media Studies Roundtable, “Amy Schumer: Queen of Comedy.” Panelists discussed a variety of issues related to Schumer’s recently attained status as, in the words of Entertainment Weekly, “comedy’s funny, filthy, fearless new voice.” What does her crossover success — on stage, on screen, and online — mean for the acceptance of women in comedy and in entertainment media in general? Does her current ubiquity represent significant gains for feminist ideas in the arena of popular culture? And is her work genuinely transgressive, or does her irresponsible party girl persona weaken her effectiveness as a feminist role model? These and related questions were addressed by panelists Christine Becker (University of Notre Dame), Jeffrey Jones (Director, Peabody Awards, UGA), Caren Pagel (Georgia State University), and Ethan Thompson (Research and Teaching Fellow, Peabody Awards, UGA). Christopher Sieving (Theatre and Film Studies, UGA) moderated.