“SNL” ’s second episode of this season featured first-time host Amy Schumer, whose particular brand of comedy proved a perfect fit for the show. Schumer, who has made a name for herself as a comedian, writer, actress and producer — and recently won an Emmy for her work on “Inside Amy Schumer” — boldly took the SNL stage and flawlessly executed her opening monologue. Though it wouldn’t have been Schumer without references to buttholes or birth control, her opening monologue featured her take on female role models and women in Hollywood.
Specifically, she emphasized the need for more female role models, poking fun at the Kardashians: “Is that a great message for little girls for a whole family of women who take the faces they were born with as a light suggestion?” In contrast, Schumer self-deprecatingly referenced her own body image, “I have an 18-month-old niece and we have the exact same body,” after lightly joking that Khloe Kardashian “lost half her body weight … she lost a Kendall.” Though disparaging her own body image took on a playful form and is one of the reasons so many women can relate to her, her attitude may have the opposite of its intended effect. Compared to many of “SNL” ’s scripted opening monologues, in which far less talented hosts have poked fun at themselves, the ease with which she ridiculed herself stood out as refreshingly sincere and authentic.
And naturally, Schumer’s monologue included an anecdote about her favorite presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. After asking Clinton what her favorite drink was, Schumer wasn’t satisfied with Clinton’s response and pushed further, asking Clinton if she drank tequila. Clinton responded that she only drinks it when her friends make her. Schumer, amused by this response, says in her monologue “Make you? Like, who’s hazing Hillary Clinton?” Who else but Schumer would discuss alcohol with a former first lady, secretary of state and presidential candidate then joke about it on live television?
“SNL,” which has in recent years become somewhat stale, especially after losing many of its big-name comedians, was reinvigorated by Schumer’s brazenness in this past episode. The outstanding ease with which Schumer portrayed her various roles, including a hysterical Delta flight attendant and a seductive school teacher, was quite entertaining to watch. However, the comedic and acting experience she brought were limited by a rotation of female characters that were either ditzy, slutty or hysterical. For someone as Schumer fearless as Schumer, the bounded range she was given to work with was somewhat disappointing.
The episode, however, did seem to be on the right track with one thing: gun control. It only makes sense that Schumer, who has recently advocated for stricter gun-control legislation, hosted the episode that ran rampant with parodies, sketches and jokes regarding the national issue. In a satirical parody of a public service announcement, guns are shown as a part of everyday life; Schumer, gun in hand, cuddles her boyfriend in bed, and a father (Bobby Moynihan) hands his newborn baby a gun. The parody ends with the caption, “Guns. We’re here to stay.” Just like Schumer’s often obscene humor, the message of the mock PSA was hardly concealed.
Other highlights of the show included the topics of Justin Bieber’s recently leaked nude photo and filling the position of Speaker of the House — between which Colin Jost, host of “SNL” ’s Weekend Update, managed to draw a hilarious comparison: “Basically it was no one’s first choice. Which made me think, ‘Wait, maybe Justin Bieber’s penis should be the new Speaker of the House.’ ” For the first time, Jost and Weekend Update co-host, Michael Che, were on a roll. With hosts such as Miley Cyrus, this week’s Amy Schumer and next week’s Tracy Morgan, “SNL” is starting to gain momentum again.