Somewhere between wise-ass and passive aggressor, you’ll find Amy Schumer. The 30-year-old New York native started off performing stand-up and is now a quickly rising star about to release her own pilot on Comedy Central. Not too shabby for someone voted ‘Teacher’s Worst Nightmare.’
Amy has appeared in numerous films and TV series outside her raucous stand-up career, including ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ’30 Rock’ and ‘Price Check’. She is also a huge fan of Portland and says she tries to travel here at least twice a year.
Amy will be getting all romantic with PDX on February 14 and 15 at Helium Comedy Club. She was lovely enough to give me a call to talk about her favorite Portland spots, hecklers and her most memorable Valentine’s Day.
PDX Pipeline: What do you like to see and do while you’re in Portland?
Amy Schumer: This will be my third time performing in Portland. I love it. I make a point to go back there twice a year. I can pick and choose where I go to perform now and it's on my list of favorites. I love The Alibi. I came out with Comedy Central once to work on a live event and one of the PAs and I were running around. There's a place right down the block from Helium (The Hawthorne Strip) with pizza and like one stripper. They all read Neil Gaiman which is fantastic. They are really romantic until you don't buy something.
More Amy Schumer Interview and Show Info
PDX: Was there a specific role model or series of events that led you to perform stand-up?
Amy: I think it was getting bullied as a kid. I was funny anyway but it became a defense mechanism when I'd get made fun of to make myself laugh. My dad is really funny and a total wise-ass and my mom is passive aggressive so I am combo of those two.
PDX: What's up with the pilot you're filming?
Amy: I just finished filming a pilot for Comedy Central last week. We've been trying to figure out what I'd do, and we finally landed on an idea. It's a bunch of vignettes, some stand up and man on the street. When the first (assistant director) said, ¬Ëœthat's a wrap on Amy Schumer,' I was standing with my sister. It was a three week process to film it and that was really moving to me. It felt like I was meeting my potential. I love this show and I'm really proud of it.
At the same time, CBS bought a pilot from me to write. It's still up in the air that we will shoot it. With censorship, what winds up on a network and what you can get away with on Comedy Central differs, so my Comedy Central pilot is a bigger deal for me even if it's less money.
PDX: How do you deal with hecklers?
Amy: Sometimes I ignore it or brush it off. When I was opening for Dave Attell I watched what he did so now I'll say a tiny comment but not really invest. It keeps the show moving and it's classy. But, I am an emotional person. Once in a while, I'll take the opportunity to have a funny big moment in the show. And once a year, I will go after that person if it feels like the right time and they say something really rude. I go for the jugular. I figure out what they love and what they fear and go after that.
PDX: What is your most memorable Valentine's Day experience?
Amy: I started dating a guy named Ryan. We were in 8th grade. I loved him. We started dating right before Valentine's Day. He was voted ¬ËœTeacher's Worst Nightmare' with me. I had my friend Jen ask if he was doing something for me for Valentine's Day and he was. So I got him a teddy and he made me a hip-hop mix tape. There was nothing sweet on it but I loved that tape. I was so happy I had someone to get a gift for. He went to jail for selling drugs eventually but even through college when we were just friends he kept that bear. I must still have that tape somewhere. It was so romantic and exciting.
Amy Schumer @ Helium Comedy Club
SE Ninth and Hawthorne
Tuesday, February 14 @ 8 p.m.
Wednesday, February 15 @ 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20-$25
For tickets and more information, please visit www.heliumcomedy.com/portland or call 888-64-FUNNY.
Nathalie Weinstein, editor
Nathalie Weinstein is PDX Pipeline's editor. She previously worked as a reporter at The Daily Journal of Commerce. Her favorite Portland activities include hiking at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, buying books she doesn't need at Powell's and petting stray cats in her Northeast Portland neighborhood. Contact Nathalie at firstname.lastname@example.org.