“I swear, I’ve never had dreams or goals. I swear! I always just wanted to perform.”
“What’s more powerful than somebody wanting to fuck you? This is going to be the soundbite that leads to my demise. I feel strong and healthy and beautiful. And I’m not everybody’s thing. I’m not a twig. I eat pasta kind of whenevs, I drink, and I’m not changing that. I have days when I feel like total dog shit but I really try to keep it comfortable in my own skin and not afraid to put it out there. Because I’m not a ten, but I’m not a five.”
As part of our podcast sharing select archival episodes of Ron Bennington’s epic interview series Unmasked, this week, we are going back just a few years to 2013 to share Unmasked with Amy Schumer.
The Unmasked series which began in 2008 with a brilliant hour with Patrice O’Neal has taped nearly 200 episodes since, documenting the careers of the most interesting comedy writers, directors, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, satirists, political comedians, comedic musicians and of course, stand up comedians in the business. It is a veritable archive of the greatest comedy of our time. Past Unmasked guests have included Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd, Simon Pegg, Tracy Morgan, Paul Feig, Jim Jefferies, Gilbert Gottfried, Bobcat Goldthwait, Louis C.K., David Brenner, Brian Regan, and over 150 more comedy greats.
Back in 2013, one minute before her career skyrocketed, Amy Schumer joined Ron Bennington at SiriusXM’s New York City headquarters to tape this episode of Unmasked. Schumer and Bennington sat in SiriusXM’s infamous Fishbowl studio with a live studio audience to talk about Amy’s career. Amy’s Comedy Central sketch show “Inside Amy Schumer was just days away from launching, with Bennington predicting she was just about to become a star. Amy deflected, but nobody could have known just how right Ron was. Within a year, she was known nationally, and within two years she was one of the biggest comedy stars in America.
At the time the episode was taped, Schumer was already a big deal in the stand-up-verse and had the respect of other comics. She had been touring for ten years and was already considered one of the top headlining comics in the country, and had just released her first hour special on Comedy Central.
During the hour episode, you’ll hear Schumer talked about the excitement and fear about releasing her new show. She had already been “in the barrel” more than once for jokes she made that angered people, and she was concerned about having to be more accountable for what she says. She talks about the Steve O joke that got her in some trouble, and the Patrice joke that could have, and why she won’t apologize for jokes. Amy also talks very frankly about what’s really harder about being a comedian and woman, why she wears short skirts and dresses on stage, the pressure to keep up fuckability as a woman comic and why she feels fearless on stage. Interestingly, she predicts that she won’t do more than three seasons of Inside Amy Schumer. “I probably just have another season or two in me,” she told Bennington, “and I just want to make stuff that I’m really proud of.”
Since taping this Unmasked episode, Amy’s career has been a fast forward whirlwind climb. As everyone knows, Inside Amy Schumer became a giant hit series, has won plenty of awards, and was renewed for a fifth season, but Amy’s success has gone way past a hit show. She connected with Judd Apatow, wrote and starred in a movie, with more on the way, and she sold and wrote a book for a record amount of money, became besties with Hollywood royalty, and she’s become a media flashpoint, where everything she does is a reportable moment.
The episode was taped on April 16, 2013 in the Fishbowl at SiriusXM in New York City.