The last time Amy Schumer performed stand-up comedy in the Twin Cities, it was the day Prince died. Talk about a challenging situation.
Schumer returned to the area Saturday night at Treasure Island Casino amphitheater in Welch, and she faced a different kind of challenge: bugs.
As she stood outdoors under the lights on a humid night, she wondered out loud if she'd leave Minnesota with West Nile virus or Lyme disease.
"We're in the middle of a [expletive] field in the middle of [same expletive] nowhere!" she declared early in her too-short 58-minute performance.
Neither the bugs nor the remoteness were the biggest issue Schumer had to address. The real question: How would she deal with her life as a newlywed?
Sex talk is what puts the humor in Schumer, so she just had to explain sex after her February marriage. As well as sex during courting. Her best — and cleanest — marriage joke was describing the couple's disparate sides of the bathroom: His has a razor, toothbrush and "mystery jar" and hers looks like a Doctors Without Borders or FEMA supply tent.
As she has done throughout her career, Schumer, 37, made self-deprecating jokes, especially about her weight. Calling herself a genius for marrying a chef, she noted, "That's like Snoop marrying weed." Proclaiming herself unattractive, she remembered that Harvey Weinstein never looked at her once during their three different meetings.
Schumer also flashed back to her first Twin Cities gig in front of 400 people at the Varsity Theater but did not mention her 2016 appearance in front of thousands at Target Center.
The native New Yorker talked about her parents, belittling her mom for not giving her the best advice and scolding her wheelchair-bound, MS-afflicted dad for not being nice. "He loved me and my sister. That's it. And we have a brother." Ouch.
And she recounted how Dad mouths off to the nurses who take care of him. Which, of course, led to a sex joke.
Yes, Schumer goes where few female comics who are also bankable movie stars and bestselling authors have gone before. To lots of frank sex talk. But she mostly does it in a disarming way. Like getting down on her hands and knees in her bright green dress and trying to demonstrate a sexual position and … we'd better stop there.
Even though her dad is a cousin to a high-profile Democratic politician, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the comic didn't get political. Except when she mentioned how women's reproductive rights might get restricted because of policies and appointments by the current White House.
The comic didn't really need to explain her jokes, but she tiptoed on the fine line of humor and bad taste that she walks.
The same could be said of Schumer's two opening acts: the very funny Mia Jackson and the not-so-funny Janelle James.
After starting by saying she looked up Welch, Minn., in Wikipedia and there were only three paragraphs, Jackson went into relationship jokes.
"I was engaged for a long time and then we set a date," she recalled and paused. "For me to move out."
After saying she doesn't do drugs, Jackson spoke of a friend who offered her pot brownies. The comic pondered: "Do I say yes to drugs or no to dessert?"
Even her sex jokes were pretty safe. Like the first time her boyfriend sexted her, she said: "I thought it was a bill from Verizon. It was large and overdue."
By contrast, James hewed to the raunchy. She admitted to doing drugs, spoke in a stoner cadence and seemed so obsessed with discussing a particular sexual fetish that she even said that that's probably what the 6,800 people at Treasure Island would remember her for. True that — if they remember her at all.