Amy Schumer with Method Man/ photo courtesy of Comedy Central
Amy Schumer finally put her foot down. Nearly 45 minutes into her hour-plus set at Target Center, the red-hot comic has two spectators near the front row ejected for rude comments.
But Schumer had more than hecklers to contend with Thursday night. As if it wasn't daunting enough to play in a vast arena -- a challenge for even the most seasoned comic -- the "Trainwrecked" star had to perform on a metro-wide night of mourning over the sudden loss of Prince, which culminated in a free block party just outside her venue.
"I was wondering if anyone would come," said Schumer, who raised her bottle of wine to the late singer at the end of the show.
Perhaps laughs were just what were in order, although a few more references to the emotionally fraught situation would have seemed appropriate.
Schumer did say that she wasn't planning to drink, but changed her mind due to the shocking news.
"The least I can do is blackout," she said, leading into an anecdote about waking up to a stranger in bed after passing out. The routine, which bordered perilously on date rape, was better received than a later bit that encouraged gun control. ("Not funny," said a woman who stormed down the aisle I was sitting in, seemingly headed for the exit).
Of course, the largely female audience expects Schumer to focus on man-woman politics rather than other social issues and she more than obliged with her familar targets, mainly the weight-obsessed media and "dirty dirtbags" (aka men).
The material continues to strike a chord with her fans, but I'd like to have seen Schumer stray outside her "comfort zone" more, something she did late into the night with a bit about the mistreatment of Native Americans and the ironic nature of reservation casinos. True, the routine fell a bit flat, but it was nice to see her stretch, something she's done quite nicely on "Inside Amy Schumer," which had its season premiere during her live performance.
Schumer did go off script to ask an audience member for a massage and brought up her childhood housekeeper for long hugs with her and siblings, Jason and Kim. She also went out of her way to praise Acme Comedy Co. and called Minneapolis the best comedy city outside Chicago and New York.
Not necessarily hilarious, but signs of warmth from an artist with a somewhat brittle public image. Perhaps that was the best tribute to Prince she could offer.