Amy Schumer isn’t exactly sure when she graduated from Towson University. It’s kind of a long story that involves some bills she didn’t want to pay. Anyway, she’s an alumna—and, it turns out, a juggernaut in the comedy world.
If you know her act, you know she’s no shrinking violet. But if you go beyond the shock value, you find a College of Fine Arts and Communication alumna who knows how to succeed.
In an interview that aired this week, the cutting-edge comedian told NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross that overt sexuality wasn’t a conscious decision for her act. She admits she’s been promiscuous. But she was also raised to be open in an environment where it seemed like nobody else was.
“I didn’t grow up hearing any women really delving into that side of themselves,” she told Gross. “And so I thought, ‘Okay, maybe I can be this person for women—and for men— just to hear the woman’s perspective in a less apologetic, honest way.”
Love it or hate it, it’s working.
The theatre major has quickly risen from her first stand-up act at Gotham Comedy Club in New York to her own Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, which was just renewed for a second season. The show is the Tuesday night lead-in for the network’s benchmark program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
But just because her formula for success includes being raunchy doesn’t mean she doesn’t take sex seriously, especially when it comes to her jokes about rape. “If anything, I hope it will raise more awareness and make people feel more comfortable having a conversation about it,” she explains. “I say, ‘Someone’s sleeping—that’s a no!’ because at a certain age men take the woman sleeping as a suggested no.”
And her matter-of-fact delivery doesn’t mean she wants to share every personal detail all the time. “I definitely am an over-sharer and I’m trying to get better with that,” she told Gross. “As I’m becoming more well known, it’s more important for me to keep some of my information private.”