Sam Morril is a ridiculously talented young comic, and next Friday September 14 his first hour special debuts on Comedy Central. It’s an “Amy Schumer Presents” special which means two things- you get to see her bring Sam out on stage, but it also means that Sam was one of a few people Amy hand-picked to help get their hour on television.
The hour is very New York- and intentionally so. Sam recorded in Brooklyn, with a set that is a stunning New York cityscape that is just eye-poppingly beautiful. Sam credited Art Director Tom Lenz with designing the set. “I wanted it to look like this,” Sam said, “I think he gave me a couple options. And I kept saying more New York, more New York, and this is kind of what he came back with. And I can’t believe how cool it looks.”
Sam also used a New York institution as the venue for his opening short vignette- a black and white short set at Barney Greengrass. For those of you unfamiliar, the self-proclaimed “Sturgeon King” has been serving up the best Jewish breakfast and lunch to hoards of NYC Upper West Siders every day for about 100 years and it looks it. It looks like someone imagined it just for a movie set, and Sam uses it for his own answer to a romcom scene in a NY Deli. He told me he had one of his first meetings to talk about the special there with EP Steve Ast. “We both had a good meal and I said “God this is such a great place.” And I said right there, “we’ve got to shoot the opening here. I don’t know what it is but we got to shoot it.” And then some guy came up to me and just started talking to me like we were friends. It was like a waiter there, an old guy. And as he walked away he goes “I love the sports show.” Because I had a sports show at the time. And I was like oh, shit. This is like New York. This is everything. So it really just was like, yeah this where it’s going down for sure.”
All of that is just the window dressing. Sam delivers a phenomenal debut hour. His jokes are so well written, and he knows how to construct his hour- when to go light, when to go dark, and when to go even darker, particularly when it comes to relationships and exes. If you want to psychoanalyze Sam’s relationship history you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do just that. But unlike some comedians who just blame everything on their former girlfriends, Sam turns his aim back on himself just as often as he jokes about his exes bad choices. “I think you have to poke fun at yourself as well,” he told me. “There’s a joke where she’s at fault and a joke where I’m at fault and how I feel with it. If you don’t have a balance, if it’s just one thing I think you lose some trust from the audience.”
This is Sam’s first full hour special. He recorded a Half Hour with Comedy Central in 2017, but says doing an hour is more than just twice as much material. “It’s just a whole different thing, like the half-hour is just me being like here’s…something. And this one was like here’s…A Special.” The Half Hour, he said just didn’t feel right, and he explained how when you record a Half Hour, the crowd isn’t there for just you, and you’re taping at 7pm, and its more like a being a part of a series than doing a special. “It’s a good special,” he said about the Half Hour, “But I also just think it didn’t feel right the way this felt right. This is how I want to be seen. I’m really proud of this.”
“Amy Schumer Presents Sam Morril: Positive Influence,” makes its world premiere with limited commercial interruption on Friday, September 14 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central and an encore will air on Sunday, September 16 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.